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.
HB23-1001, Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs, which supports student teachers toward the goal of diversifying the teacher workforce was heard by the House Education Committee on January 26th. It was passed on a unanimous vote and now goes to the Committee of the Whole.
HB23-1003, School Mental Health Assessment, which creates the sixth through twelfth grade mental health assessment program was rescheduled to be heard by the House Public and Behavior Health and Human Services
Committee on February 7th.
HB23-1064, Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, which will make it easier for active-duty military spouses to transfer their teaching licenses without further testing, will be heard by the House Education Committee on February 1st.
SB23-029, Disproportionate Discipline In Public Schools, which requires each school district board of education, institute charter school board for a charter school authorized by the state charter school institute, or governing board of a board of cooperative services (BOCES) to adopt a policy to address disproportionate disciplinary practices in public schools will be heard by the Senate Education Committee January 30th. SB23-043, Continue School Access For Emergency Response Grant Program, extends the SAFER grant program for 5 years, until July 1, 2029, and clarifies when the state treasurer is required to transfer unexpended money from the SAFER grant program’s cash fund when the grant program is repealed passed out of the Senate Education Committee on a vote of 7-0 and was referred to the Committee on Appropriations.
We are encouraged by the unanimous vote in support of HB23-1001 Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs in this week’s House Education Committee hearing.
This bill is a top priority for Stand this legislative session and is a continuation of HB22-1220, Removing Barriers to Educator Preparation a bill we championed last session that paid for teacher exam fees, expanded pathways to licensure by allowing multiple ways to demonstrate competency and paid teacher candidates for student teaching work.
Colorado educator, Anthony Abel-Pype, joined us in support of the bill, submitting written testimony saying, “Bills that can offer incentives, financial and otherwise, for people in general, and people of color in particular, to choose a career path in education, and to stick with it, will go a long way to improving student outcomes in the state of Colorado.” You can read Anthony’s full testimony here.
Currently, law enforcement may use deception during interrogation of youth. Children are more susceptible to manipulation and more likely to provide inaccurate information and false confessions under such pressure. In fact, in the last twenty-five years, youth who were exonerated after being convicted of crimes, 38% gave false confessions.
HB23-1042, Admissibility Standards For Juvenile Statements, which will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 30th will:
increase funding for interrogation training for law enforcement, and
improve the general reliability of confessions by requiring all juvenile interrogations to be recorded, and
if law enforcement does use deceptive tactics during custodial interrogation, the judge may discern whether the resulting confession was voluntary and therefore reliable and admissible in trial. Tell House Judiciary Committee members to vote yes on HB23-1042 to protect truth and trust in interrogations!