Capitol Week in Review

Current Events & News, Early Childhood Education, Legislation, Literacy | 04/04/2022

Stand for Children

Welcome to this week's edition of Capitol Week in Review, a weekly update on education policy at the Capitol!  

Legislative Update

SB22-004, Evidence Based Training in the Science of Reading, which will ensure principals and administrators who oversee K-3 teachers will be trained in the science of reading passed 6-1 by the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the full Senate for consideration. 

SB22-127, Special Education Funding, which would increase funds for each child who receives special education funding to $1,750 (rather than the current $1250) and require the amount to increase by the rate of inflation each budget year beginning with the 2024-25 school year 7-0 by the Senate Appropriations Committee.  

SB22-147, Behavioral Healthcare Services for Children, which would create a program to support primary care providers in identifying and treating mild to moderate behavioral health conditions in children in primary care practices or school-based health centers, was 7-0 by the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

HB22-1003, Youth Delinquency Prevention and Intervention Grants, which would create a pilot program to distribute funds through the Office of Public Safety to projects that reduce crime among youth, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee 5-0 and was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  

HB22-1064, Prohibit Flavored Tobacco, which would which prohibit flavored tobacco, is scheduled to be heard by the House Finance Committee April 4th. 

HB22-1202 At-Risk Student Measure for School Finance, which will update the school funding formula as well as how at-risk students are counted, passed unanimously by the Senate Education Committee and was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

HB22-1295 Department Early Childhood And Universal Preschool Program, which establishes the Department of Early Childhood to elevate early childhood education and ensures that early childhood care is easy to navigate for all Colorado families, passed 5-2 by the Senate Education Committee.  

Colorado Department of Education Update

The Colorado Department of Education released an online database showing what reading programs schools use in kindergarten through third grade.

The website includes information about: 

The creation of this database was required under Senate Bill 151 which we supported and passed in 2021.  Stand Executive Director, Krista Spurgin said in an article in Chalkbeat “I was worried that it was going to be wonky, hard to navigate, and in the weeds, but I think it’s actually useful.” 

Our Take

During the 2021 Colorado legislative session, we supported House Bill 21-1304 which established the Department of Early Childhood. HB22-1295 builds on last year’s momentum towards prioritizing early childhood in Colorado. This bill codifies the unanimously approved recommendations of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission regarding the design of the new state agency and implementation of universal preschool.   

House Bill 22-1295 takes several steps to address the existing challenges faced by families and providers, including strengthening Colorado’s early childhood infrastructure, developing a single application for families to access all publicly funded early education services, and better supporting our early childhood workforce.   

Colorado must prioritize access to early childhood programming and resources for children and families who face significant barriers to access, as these programs are critical in providing kids with the strong foundation they need to thrive.   

Parent, community leader, and Stand Advocacy Fellow, Natalie, joined us to testify in support of the bill in a over 8-hour long hearing in the Senate Education Committee saying, “Creating a universal Pre-K program will not only help support single mothers, but it will help parents living in poverty get their children into programs that will help create a strong support system.” We are pleased the Senate Education Committee passed SB22-1295 5-2.

Take Action

The Senate Education Committee voted this week to unanimously update the way schools are financed in Colorado, giving us an opportunity to ensure the students who need support the most can get it. 

HB22-1202, At-risk Student Measure For School Finance, expands the at-risk factor by creating a new measure to identify students at risk of poor academic outcomes due to economic disadvantage including other public benefit programs and census block data. These updates help make sure we fund our schools equitably and the students who need support the most can get it. 

Join us in thanking Senate Education Committee members for passing HB22-1202. Email Senators with one click!

For More Information

$36 billion Colorado budget boosts K-12, higher ed spending, Chalkbeat 

Did this Colorado transparency law make it easier to understand how schools teach reading?, Chalkbeat 

Student teachers are rarely paid. Colorado lawmakers, school leaders want to ensure they’re compensated. Colorado Sun

Colorado Education Bill Tracker 2022, Chalkbeat 

 

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