Capitol Week in Review

Legislation | 02/02/2020

Amy Pitlik
Government Affairs Director

This Week

This week at House Education Committee, we saw exciting success with multiple bills we are actively supporting.     

HB20-1002 College Credit for Work Experience was referred unanimously, as amended, to House Appropriations.   

HB20-1007 Diverse Kindergarten Through 12th Grade Educator Workforce Report was referred unanimously, as amended, to House Appropriations.   

HB20-1015 Future Educators Pathways Grant Program was referred, as amended, to House Appropriations on a vote of  a 10-3.     

At State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, HB20-1066 Contribution Limits School District Director Candidate was referred, as amended, to Appropriations on a vote of 7-2.    

In the Senate, the Education Committee referred SB20-089 Educator Pay Raise Fund, as amended, to Senate Appropriations on a 3-2 vote.     

And at  State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee,  SB20-066 Highly Effective Teachers and Low Performing Schools  was postponed indefinitely on a 3-2 vote.  

Looking Forward

This coming week, the House Education Committee be hearing multiple early childhood-related bills.     The hearings will be held on Tuesday, February 4 in room 107 in the basement of the Capitol.   

HB20-1011 Helping Others Manage Early Childhood (HOME) Act which consists of three components- a public awareness campaign contracted by the Department of Human Services around early childhood expectations and available resources, multicounty best practices and licensure requirement workshops, and regional workshops designed to educate providers on how to start an early child care center including requirements for licensure.     

HB20-1016 Increase Quality In Early Childhood Education Programs which requires the Department of Human Services to support programs in advancing or maintaining high-quality programming by providing technical assistance and financial incentives to programs rated a 1 or 2 or 3, 4, 5 in the Colorado shines system respectively.     

HB20-1043 Income Tax Credit for Early Childhood Education Fix which fixes an issue regarding the effective date of last year’s legislation.   

HB20-1053 Support for Early Childhood Educator Workforce which establishes licensing standards that that will allow an early care program to be licensed for a period if at least one of the educators have pursued early childhood credentials but have not yet completed the credential. Additionally, the bill directs the Department of Human Services and CDE to support early childhood educators by streamlining credentials and licensing requirements, reporting on educator gaps, and directing resources to support concurrent enrollment. Finally, the bill creates the early care and education recruitment and retention grant and scholarship program.     

HB20-1128 Educator Education Requirements Special Education which requires teachers, special services providers, principals, and administrators to complete 10 hours of professional development relating to laws and practices around the education of students with disabilities in the classroom. The bill also requires educator preparation programs to include course work that includes an overview of federal law and effective classroom practices relation to students with disabilities.     

On Thursday, February 6 the Committee will hear HB20-1135 Replace High School Social Studies Assessment which requires high school students to take the United States citizenship test instead of the state assessment in social studies.     

In the Senate Education Committee, we are actively supporting two bills that will be heard in room SCR 352 at 1:30pm on Thursday, February 6.     

SB20-001 Expand Behavioral Health Training for K-12 Educators which requires the department of education to offer an evidence-based train the trainer program, preparing the attendee to teach a youth behavior and mental health training course designed to improve school culture and to promote youth behavioral and mental health.  Subjects of the training may include using trauma-informed approaches, restorative practice, bullying prevention, de-escalation of crisis situations, amongst others.   

SB20-014 Excused Absences in Public Schools for Behavior Health requires school districts to include excused absences for behavioral health concerns in their written attendance policy requirements.   

On Tuesday, February 4, the Senate Finance Committee will hear the following bill in room SCR 357 at 2:00pm.    

SB20-112 College Trust Scholarship for Early Graduation which creates the college trust scholarship program in the department of higher education to disburse scholarship awards to institutions of higher education on behalf of eligible graduates who are awarded a high school diploma from a Colorado public high school prior to enrolling in the fourth year of high school.   

Our Take

We feel deeply committed to the intent of a few key bills heard this week. Our Executive Director, Krista Spurgin, testified in the House Education Committee with the following remarks:     HB20-1007 Diverse Kindergarten Through 12th Grade Educator Workforce Report   “The issue of diversifying our teacher workforce needs to be taken seriously by everyone if we are going to truly close the gaps for students who continue to be underserved.  This bill allows for important and transparent information be to be shared with students who want to become teachers... Improving access to transparent information about educator prep programs is a key step toward ensuring our teacher workforce is more reflective of our student population and barriers are removed for those students who are consistently underserved.”      HB20-1015 Future Educators Pathways Grant Program   “This bill recognizes the need for us to create pathways to the profession that are thoughtful and inclusive, while prioritizing the teaching profession...Our schools are a great place to nurture the next generation of teachers and we appreciate the long-term focus on helping Colorado solve the teacher shortage problem that we are facing.”     Additionally, we consistently hear school safety as a top concern and priority from parents and community members and we are hopeful that the legislator is elevating the importance of preparing our educators to meet the needs of individual students as well as contribute to safe and welcoming school environments for all Colorado’s kids and families.     

For a full rundown of bills related to K-12, we encourage you to keep tabs on  Chalkbeat’s bill tracker.

 For More Information

You may be asking, “How does a bill become a law in Colorado?” Previous Stand employee, Lauren Craig gives a helpful overview here.  

 How lawmakers hope to improve Colorado teacher pay    

Colorado legislators advance teacher pay fund, kill bonus pay proposal    

Why does Colorado have so few teachers of color? A new bill seeks to find out  

 Unlocking the Door to Learning: Trauma-Informed Practices and Transformational Schools  

 

 

 

 

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