Happy Friday! It’s been a full week at the Capitol, capped off by two days of teacher rallies and protests for more education funding. On Thursday, Jefferson County and Douglas County educators were joined by Lake County and Clear Creek district educators as they protested from the Capitol steps. Today, the marchers include teachers from Denver Public Schools, Cherry Creek, Aurora, Adams 12, St. Vrain, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Poudre, Falcon 49, Brighton, Littleton, and many other districts. Follow Chalkbeat’s live updates from Civic Center Park here. This massive demonstration of teacher solidarity and frustration with scarce resources and low pay is backdropped by a wave of teacher protests across the nation in Arizona, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. We applaud these educators and agree that we all must work together to better fund education in Colorado.
We are pleased to report that HB-1393, Effective Implementation of the READ Act (Rep. M. Hamner, D-Dillon; Rep. Exum, D-Colorado Springs), with the help of some compelling testimonies by parent leaders and educators, passed out of the House Education Committee 11-2 on Wednesday. On Friday, the House showed its approval and passed the bill, 43-21. Read the full update here and show your support for strengthening early literacy policy by signing the petition here.
On Monday, the Governor signed SB-151, Colorado Department of Education Bullying Policies Research (Sen. K. Priola, R-Henderson; Sen. R. Fields, D-Aurora; Rep. J. Wilson, R-Salida; Rep. J. Buckner, D-Aurora), which will require the Department of Education to research bullying prevention and create a model based on this research.
The Senate Committee on Education referred two bills, unamended, to the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday: HB-1002, Rural School District Teaching Fellowship Programs (Rep. M. Hamner, D-Dillon; Rep. B. Rankin, R-Carbondale) and HB-1189, Expanding Effective Teacher Residency Programs (Rep. B. Pettersen, D-Lakewood; Rep. L. Sias, R-Arvada; Sen. O. Hill, R-Colorado Springs; Sen. N. Todd, D-Aurora). HB-1355, Public Education Accountability System (Rep. B. Pettersen, D-Lakewood; Rep. L. Sias, R-Arvada; Sen. B. Gardner, R-Colorado Springs; Sen. D. Moreno, D-Commerce City), passed a third reading in the Senate with no amendments as well.
HB-1379, Public School Finance (Rep. B. Pettersen, D-Lakewood; Rep. J. Wilson, R-Salida; Sen. O. Hill, R-Colorado Springs), was referred unamended to the Appropriations Committee by the Senate Committee on Education on Thursday.
Next Monday, we’ll be keeping an eye on SB-200, Modifications To PERA Public Employees' Retirement Association To Eliminate Unfunded Liability (Sen. J. Tate, R-Centennial; Sen. K. Priola, R-Henderson; Rep. KC Becker, D-Boulder; Rep. D. Pabon, D-Denver) and SB-264, Prohibit Public School Teacher Strikes (Rep. B. Gardner, R-Colorado Springs; Rep. P. Lundeen, R-Monument).