2014 was a big year for Stand for Children but an even bigger year for Colorado’s kids. As we look back at this year’s accomplishments, we’re grateful for all that we’ve achieved to make sure our students graduate high school ready for college and the careers of tomorrow.
Here are four of our big wins for students in 2014:
Colorado voters went to the polls last week and we’re excited to report that a majority of our Education Champions won their races!
This year’s general election was critical in determining whether or not we’d elect education champions who would maintain the progress Colorado has made in the last several years to improve our education system. That includes our work around the implementation of the Colorado Academic Standards, better tests, and new educator evaluations.
Stand for Children Colorado strongly supports the Denver Preschool Program (DPP), which was created in 2006 to connect Denver’s families with high-quality preschool. Today, it serves nearly 6,000 children each year, or approximately 70% of Denver’s 4-year-olds. On November 4, Colorado voters will vote on whether or not to extend and expand this program. We believe it is critical that we invest in quality preschool for Denver’s kids this year.
Rep. Kevin Priola represents House District 56, which includes the Brighton, Henderson, Aurora, Bennett and Watkins communities. He was first elected in 2008. Since then, Rep. Priola has been a leading voice for Colorado’s students. He holds increasing performance in our schools as major priority and knows that we must work with parents to do so. As Rep. Priola says, he “…will work to improve performance and promote parental involvement in our schools.”
Rep. Rhonda Fields has represented Aurora’s House District 42, Arapahoe County, since 2010. She has proven herself as an education champion – standing up for Colorado’s students while serving on the House Education Committee.
Rep. Fields has been a strong proponent for increased access to early childhood education and equitable school funding spent wisely. She believes in creating an affordable pathway to higher education for every child. She’s also established an endowed scholarship for students to attend Colorado State University.
Rep. John Buckner is the type of legislator that Colorado needs in the state legislature. As a former teacher, principal, and long-time advocate for students, Rep. Buckner has the experience to help advocate for the best education possible in Colorado’s schools.
Jon Keyser, a second-generation Colorado native and Republican candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives, is running to represent District 25. Jon has served in the Air Force’s elite parachuting team, the Wings of Blue. He’s also completed tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan and he continues to serve as a Captain in the Air Force. Jon has been decorated a number of times throughout his military service, receiving the Bronze Star Medal and recognition as Intelligence Officer of the Year.
Serving in the Colorado House of Representatives the past two years, Rep. Millie Hamner has become one of the legislature’s leading voices for Colorado’s students. During the 2014 session, she sponsored the annual School Finance Act and the Student Success Act – both of which will help every school district in the state and increase K-12 investment by nearly $500 million. She has been a strong proponent for early childhood reading programs, resources for English Language Learners, and increasing enrollment of at-risk youth in kindergarten. Rep.
Jane Goff knows what it will take to make sure we have the best schools in Colorado. As a Colorado native, graduate of Jefferson County Public Schools, and a former 34-year veteran educator in our public schools, she brings firsthand knowledge of how to make our education system work for kids.
During the last few months, Stand for Children parent members, teachers, and supporters have been at the State Capitol advocating for policies that will help our students. We wanted to share with you what these folks have been saying to our elected officials on behalf of kids.
Here’s testimony from one parent, Oscar Zavala Castillo, speaking out against legislation (House Bill 1268) that would have prevented principals from making local hiring decisions about which teachers are best for their schools (known as mutual consent).