Capitol Week in Review brings you news of bills we are tracking around our priorities of advancing educational equity and racial justice in Colorado and making our schools and communities safer and more supportive.
HB23-1042, Admissibility Standards For Juvenile Statements, which increases funding for interrogation training for law enforcement, as well as improves the general reliability of confessions by requiring all juvenile interrogations to be recorded was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee and is expected to be considered by the full Senate this weekend.
HB23-1100, Restrict Government Involvement In Immigration Detention, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and full Senate. For years, Colorado taxpayers have been picking up the bill of the federal government by allowing the state to contract a private company to detain individuals for federal immigration purposes. This bill would prevent any such further contracts and begins a review process of these contracts over the next two years.
HB23-1168, Legal Representation And Students With Disabilities, which requires CDE to create and maintain a list of attorneys qualified to represent a parent in a due process complaint and creates a fund to pay attorneys defending parents against due process complaints filed by an education provider, passed the Senate and is headed to the Governor for signature.
HB23-1231, Math in Pre-Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade, will be heard by the Senate Education Committee April 24th. This bill will support math educators with evidence-based training and interventions to help K- 12th-grade students struggling in math. Importantly, this bill includes $1.6 million for the Ninth Grade Success Grant program to help ensure that more Colorado students finish their 9th-grade year on track and graduate high school prepared for post-secondary success.
HB23-1235, Technical Modification To Department Of Early Childhood, makes technical changes HB22-1295, which created Colorado’s universal preschool program. This bill would allow the Department of Early Childhood to enter into contracts for early literacy programming and whole-child services and ensures policy is aligned with current state and federal standards and was passed by the Senate.
HB23-1241, Task Force To Study K-12 Accountability System, which creates a task force to study academic opportunities, inequities, practices in schools, and improvements to the accountability and accreditation system, is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Education Committee April 26th.
HB23-1249, Reduce Justice Involvement for Young Children, which changes the minimum age – from 10 to 13 – of children who are subject to prosecution in juvenile court; except in the case of homicide, was passed by the House.
HB23-1263, Translating Individualized Education Programs, which permits the multidisciplinary team that creates an individualized education program (IEP) for a child, who may be eligible for special education services, to translate the IEP draft documents into the dominant language spoken in the child’s home, is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Education Committee April 24th.
HB23-1291, Procedures For Expulsion Hearing Officers, was passed by House Education Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee. This bill addresses due process rights for students by mandating the sharing of evidence during an expulsion hearing, prohibiting conflicts of interest for the hearing officer, as well as requiring annual training regarding student development, restorative justice, and special education and the law.
SB23-004, Employment Of School Mental Health Professionals, which authorizes a school district to employ health professionals, who are not licensed by the Colorado Department of Education but hold a Colorado license for their profession is headed to the Governor for signature.
SB23-087, Teacher Degree Apprenticeship Program, which creates a teacher degree apprenticeship program as an alternative route to teacher licensure and helps to alleviate the educator shortage, passed House on second reading and is awaiting a final vote.
SB23-099, Special Education Funding, which increases special education funding by an additional $40,203, 671, unanimously passed the House on second reading and is awaiting a final vote.
SB23-158, Sunset Colorado Commission On Criminal And Juvenile Justice, which continues the Commission until September 1, 2028, will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee April 24th.
SB23-258, Consolidate Colorado Educator Programs In Colorado Department of Education, which consolidates the review and approval process for educator preparation programs under the Department of Education and the State Board of Education passed the Senate Education Committee and was referred to the Appropriations Committee and will be heard April 27th.
SB-23-287, Public School Finance, which sets school funding levels, passed the Senate Education Committee and was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill increases the statewide base per pupil funding for the 2023-24 budget year by $598.25 (to account for inflation) and creates a public-school finance task force.
Monday, the Senate Education Committee is considering HB23-1231, Math in Pre-Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade a bill to support math educators with evidence-based training and interventions to help K- 12th-grade students struggling in math. The bill includes $1.6 million for the Ninth Grade Success Grant program to help ensure that more Colorado students finish their 9th grade year on-track and graduate high school prepared for post-secondary success.
Decades of research shows that ninth grade students who are on-track at the end of their first year of high school are as much as four times more likely to graduate from high school than their off-track peers. Ninth graders who earn at least a quarter of the credits required for graduation and receive no more than one “F” are on-track to graduate. Schools and districts implementing ninth grade success strategies are showing tremendous results. Implementing a focused 9th grade success approach is changing the trajectory for Colorado students.