Happy New Year! Welcome to Capitol Week In Review, our newsletter keeping you informed about legislation concerning educational equity and making our schools and communities more supportive.   The 2024 Colorado Legislative Session convened January 10th and for the next five months, policymakers will be making decisions that affect our communities, students, educators, and families. 


The Second Session of the 74th General Assembly kicked off this week with mostly pomp and circumstance. Members were sworn in, committee assignments were made, and legislation started being introduced. 

Governor Jared Polis delivered his State of the State address this week, highlighting housing, transit, public safety and other priorities. He celebrated the multi-year effort to fund free full-day Kindergarten and preschool for Colorado families and applauded legislators for acting to support policy and funding to “ensure more than 300,000 Colorado children have healthy meals through Summer EBT.”

Governor Polis also outlined plans to eliminate the Budget Stabilization Factor saying, “This historic investment means an additional $705 per student on average, or another $15,500 more for a classroom of 22 kids. This is on top of last year’s increase of more than $1,000 per student, made possible by this legislature. 

It means better teacher pay, expanded learning opportunities for students, professional development for teachers, and better resources in our classrooms.” 

You can watch the recording here. 


Get Involved!  At Stand Colorado, we deeply believe that policymaking is most effective when the voices of those impacted are at the center of decision-making. Want more regular updates about key bills and opportunities to engage? Follow us on social media to stay informed about ways to advocate for what matters to you!  

While legislators are the ones introducing and voting on the bills, YOU can play a critical role too. We believe in the power of community, so we are here to support you if you want to get involved. 


Chalkbeat Colorado, 2024 Colorado General Assembly: The people’s guide to following education issues

Colorado Sun, 8 storylines to watch at the Colorado Capitol this year as the 2024 legislative session begins

Last year we championed, HB23-1133, Cost of Phone Calls for Persons in Custody This bill was passed, making prison communication free across Colorado in state and private facilities. 

This year, one of our top priorities is to ensure this policy can be implemented as planned by 2025 by protecting the ramped up funding needed to bring free prison phone calls to families. The bill cut call costs by 25% in the first year, 35% in the second year, and will then make all calls free starting July 1, 2025. 

Every year, Colorado families –who are disproportionately Black, brown, and low-income – pay over $8.8 million to speak to their incarcerated loved ones. Over 50% of families with an incarcerated loved one struggle to meet basic housing and food needs. One out of three families with a loved one behind bars goes into debt just to stay in touch, and women carry 87% of the burden

Research has shown that keeping families connected while a loved one is incarcerated helps reduce recidivism. Now, it is critical that we protect the ramped-up funding needed to ensure this policy can be fully implemented. Sign up to get updates on this important policy so you will be ready to advocate for children and families when the legislative session kicks off in January!

Did you know, four out of ten people released from Colorado prisons in 2018 returned within three years, and two out of ten people released from prison returned for technical violations (meaning they did not comply with the terms & conditions of probation or parole)?

That’s why one of our policy priorities next year is to expand opportunities for remote reporting (via online platform or phone) for individuals under parole or probation.  This enables us to use technology to ensure people can meet the requirements of their parole or probation while supporting their ability to work, seek education, care for children, or other responsibilities.   

Currently, lower-risk individuals under probation or parole supervision in Colorado may have the option to check in virtually with their supervising officers in many jurisdictions. However, this option varies across the state. With this policy, we have the opportunity to improve our recidivism rates in Colorado. By providing comprehensive support and opportunities for reintegration, we not only reduce the risk of recidivism but also contribute to a more productive and inclusive society.       

Please sign up to stay informed about how you can join us in advancing this important policy next legislative session to level the playing field and offer remote supervision statewide. 

Stand for Children Colorado advances educational equity and racial justice in Colorado through meaningful partnerships with families, educators, schools, and policymakers. One of the ways we uphold this work is through our annual Advocacy Fellowship.   

Stand for Children Colorado Advocacy Fellows are community leaders advocating for policy solutions towards racial justice and equity in education.  With the support of Stand staff, advocacy fellows will deep dive into issues affecting Colorado communities today, co-create solutions, democratize knowledge back to their communities, work to break down barriers to power and access decision makers, and, in the process, build long-lasting relationships and invaluable skills. 

We are excited to introduce the 2023–2024 Fellows! 

Meet Leah

Leah claims to be from Colorado, though she was technically born in Texas. Her ability to attract odd suitors — like the man who took her to buy a gun rack on a first (and last) date — earned her a monthly dating column in a now-defunct women’s magazine produced by the Boulder Daily Camera and launched her freelance writing career. Since then, her words have been published online and in print for a wide range of publications, including Marie Claire, INSIDER, Colorado Life Magazine, and Fodor’s Travel. In addition to writing and editing, Leah works primarily with arts and culture organizations and nonprofits as a communications and marketing consultant. As someone passionate about her Northeast Denver community, she is excited to be a Stand fellow and to learn about how to most effectively advocate for her 80205 and 80216 communities. 

  1. What are you most excited about this year’s fellowship program? I am excited to increase my community organizing skills and learn how to have more impact through this fellowship. I’m hoping to learn even a little bit about how to better navigate what bills exist and where they are in the process.
  2. What is your favorite children’s book? My favorite children’s book is called “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O” by Shel Silverstein. It is about a lonely wedge shaped piece looking for where it fits and realizing it doesn’t have to fit anywhere to be fulfilled.
  3. What do you like most about Colorado? My favorite thing about Colorado is how varied the landscape is. People only think about the mountains, but so much of Colorado is plains or high desert, deep canyons and wide plateaus. 

Colorado has expanded the number of schools implementing a 9th grade success approach. One of our top priorities for next year is to work with the legislature to expand funding for the 9th Grade Success Grant Program.  

Last week, the State Board of Education named 27 schools across Colorado recipients of 9th Grade Success Grants. Let’s ensure that even more students are finishing 9th grade on-track by expanding funding for more Colorado schools. 

Decades of research has shown that supporting students by implementing a 9th Grade Success approach improves graduation rates. In fact, students who are “on-track” (meaning they have no more than one F) at the end of their 9th grade year are three times more likely to graduate from high school than their off-track peers.  On-track status is a stronger predictor of high school graduation than race/ethnicity, level of poverty, and test scores combined!  

Join us and stay in engaged in this work when the legislature convenes in January. Sign up, and we will email you when there are opportunities to advocate for our high school students. 

Today is Colorado Gives Day, and on behalf of our team at Stand for Children Colorado, we would be honored to have your support. Will you give in support of Colorado’s kids with a gift to Stand?

Over the last year we’ve passed policies to increase equitable funding for Colorado students and diversify the educator workforce, co-championed the effort to expand universal preschool to more Colorado children, and hosted dozens of advocates for a Day at the Capitol. We have ambitious goals for our work together next year, and hope you will help support them with a gift of $25, $50, or $100.

Stand for Children Colorado advances educational equity and racial justice in Colorado through meaningful partnerships with families, educators, schools, and policymakers. One of the ways we uphold this work is through our annual Advocacy Fellowship.   

Stand for Children Colorado Advocacy Fellows are community leaders advocating for policy solutions towards racial justice and equity in education.  With the support of Stand staff, advocacy fellows will deep dive into issues affecting Colorado communities today, co-create solutions, democratize knowledge back to their communities, work to break down barriers to power and access decision makers, and, in the process, build long-lasting relationships and invaluable skills. 

We are excited to introduce the 2023–2024 Fellows! 

Meet Andrea

Andrea was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, as a Latina women. She is the mother of two children who are 8 and 3. She first got involved with Stand for Children in 2023 when she shared her experience growing up with an incarcerated parent and testified in favor of HB23-1133, Cost of Phone Calls for Persons in Custody. It was then she realized how important and impactful it is to be part of such an amazing group of community of leaders making a difference in our communities and children’s lives. 

  1. What are you most excited about this year’s fellowship program?  I’m excited about the bills we are supporting and making a difference for our student’s futures.
  2. What is your favorite children’s book? My favorite childhood book is the Junie B. Jones series and the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series.
  3. What do you like most about Colorado? My favorite thing about Colorado is our beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Language justice is defined as a commitment to ensuring all voices are heard and understood in the process of community engagement. It is a practice to create inclusive and equitable spaces in schools so that families, students, and staff can participate in the language they are most comfortable with. 

Our Language Justice work in DPS has centered around improving the way that schools in Denver engage with families so that everyone –no matter their native language—can support their child’s education by engaging with their child’s school and teacher. DPS families speak over 160 different languages.  Parents and caregivers are critical partners in a student’s education, so ensuring that educators can share information and engage with families is the most important way for that partnership to happen.

The DPS board has called out Language Justice in one of their “ENDS policies” (ENDS 1, passed by the board May 18, 2023) which is how they outline a long-term goal. After the board sets a goal, they name specifics around how they want the superintendent to achieve that goal in an “executive limitation” which would also need to be passed by the board.

While we cannot say how the district and new board will move forward with their long-term goals, we plan to continue to uplift the importance of partnering with families. To be very specific, we would like to see the district address their commitment to the practice of Language Justice by providing a training for all DPS teachers and administrators, before school starts next year, about how to access interpretation and translation services. According to DPS’s website, they provide translation (written communication) and interpretation (spoken communication) services in over 160 languages. However, we know from the community that many schools are not using these services consistently or even aware they exist.

Empowering educators with the tools to build strong and successful partnerships with parents and caregivers will lead to improved student outcomes, which should be a goal we are all working to reach. 

Stand for Children Colorado advances educational equity and racial justice in Colorado through meaningful partnerships with families, educators, schools, and policymakers. One of the ways we uphold this work is through our annual Advocacy Fellowship.   

Stand for Children Colorado Advocacy Fellows are community leaders advocating for policy solutions towards racial justice and equity in education.  With the support of Stand staff, advocacy fellows will deep dive into issues affecting Colorado communities today, co-create solutions, democratize knowledge back to their communities, work to break down barriers to power and access decision makers, and, in the process, build long-lasting relationships and invaluable skills. 

We are excited to introduce the 2023–2024 Fellows! 


Meet Yaeel

1. What are you most excited about this year’s fellowship program? Me entusiasma poder seguir aprendiendo de la organización y seguir aportando de una manera productiva para que las voces y necesidades de nuestra comunidad sean escuchadas. ( I am excited to continue learning from the organization and continue contributing in a productive way so that the voices and needs of our community are heard.)

2. What is your favorite children’s book? The Giving Tree.

3. What do you like most about Colorado?  Su Naturaleza,Su oxígeno,Su gente. ( Its Nature, its oxygen, its people.)

Stand for Children Colorado advances educational equity and racial justice in Colorado through meaningful partnerships with families, educators, schools, and policymakers. One of the ways we uphold this work is through our annual Advocacy Fellowship.   

Stand for Children Colorado Advocacy Fellows are community leaders advocating for policy solutions towards racial justice and equity in education.  With the support of Stand staff, advocacy fellows will deep dive into issues affecting Colorado communities today, co-create solutions, democratize knowledge back to their communities, work to break down barriers to power and access decision makers, and, in the process, build long-lasting relationships and invaluable skills. 

We are excited to introduce the 2023–2024 Fellows! 


Meet Tina

  • What are you most excited about in this year’s fellowship? I can’t wait to see the impact and stand behind all the noise that this year’s fellows will make for change.
  • What is your favorite children’s book? The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • What do you love most about Colorado? I truly enjoy the weather and food here in Colorado!