Another year gone by, another session over and done! On May 9th, the Second Regular Session of the 71st General Assembly officially adjourned.
Our big news from the past week is that HB-1393, Effective Implementation of the READ Act, passed out of the full Senate and is now headed to Governor Hickenlooper’s desk. Learn more about the bill and its journey here.
A few other big bills were also passed during the final days of Session 2018. Most notably, lawmakers reached a compromise on SB-200, a bill that has caused plenty of tension among Colorado educators. The passed version raises the retirement age for new teachers from 58-64 years, increases teacher contributions into the retirement system, and cut cost-of-living adjustments for retirees. Chalkbeat provides a rundown of the bill as well as responses from teachers and House and Senate leadership here.
The General Assembly also passed a package of bills amounting to $10 million dollars towards a variety of initiatives and programs meant to address teacher shortages across the state. Many of the bills address shortages in rural districts where the struggle to hire enough teachers has been felt most acutely. These bills include an education stipend for those who commit to teaching in rural committees for at least three year and a mandate for the state to develop a “grow your own” program. While a lot of money was set aside for the shortage problem, no bills touched on teacher pay and a bill that would forgive teachers’ loans was postponed indefinitely. You can find more detailed descriptions of the bills passed here.
Other bill updates: SB-013, Expand Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Act (Sen. R. Fields, D-Aurora; Sen. B. Gardner, R-Colorado Springs) was passed by the House on Tuesday and HB-1269, Parent Notice For Student Safety And Protection (Rep. P. Lundeen, R-Monument; Rep. B. Pettersen, D-Lakewood; Sen. O. Hill, R-Colorado Springs; Sen. R. Fields, D-Aurora), was went to the Governor on Thursday.
Thanks for keeping up on education bills with us this year. We will be back with updates at the commencement of the 72nd General Assembly in January 2019!