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.  

Legislative Update

HB23-1003, School Mental Health Assessment, creates the sixth through twelfth grade mental health assessment program. The hearing for this bill was rescheduled for  April 13th.     

HB23-1024, Relative And Kin Placement Of A Child, which establishes measures to support reunification of a child or youth with their family when the child or youth has been temporarily placed with a relative or kin, will be heard April 12 by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.  

HB23-1109, School Policies and Student Conduct, was postponed indefinitely, meaning it will not advance further this year, by a unanimous vote in the House Education Committee. This bill aimed to strengthen due process rights for students, particularly as it pertained to behavior off school grounds and outside of school hours. It also increased the training for expulsion hearing officers, including training around disabilities and trauma-informed care and interventions.   

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, is scheduled to be considered by the Senate April 10.  

HB23-1169, Limit Arrest For Low-level Offenses, which prohibits a peace officer from arresting a person based solely on the alleged commission of a petty offense, except for high level misdemeanors directly impacting victims (e.g. theft), was postponed indefinitely by the House Judiciary Committee.  

HB23-1231, Math in Pre-Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade, will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee April 10. This bill will support math educators with evidence-based training and interventions to help K- 12th grade students struggling in math. The bill also 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 to current state and federal standards and was passed 7-4 by the House Education Committee.   

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 Judiciary Committee 9-4 and referred to the House Appropriations Committee.  

HB23-1263, Translating Individualized Education Programs, 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 home of the child’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian. The bill is scheduled to be heard by the House Education Committee April 13th.  

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 was passed unanimously by the House Education Committee. 

SB23-039, Reduce Child And Incarcerated Parent Separation, which requires the Department of Human Services to prioritize and facilitate communication and family time between children and their parents who are incarcerated, passed unanimously by the House Public & Behavior Health and Human Services Committee and was referred to the Appropriations Committee. 

SB23-70, Mandatory School Resource Officer Training, is a bill that would require a law enforcement officer to complete a Safe2Tell training curriculum before working as a school resource officer; it was passed unanimously by the House Education Committee.  

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, was passed unanimously by the House Education Committee.  

SB23-099, Special Education Funding, which increases special education funding by an additional $40,203, 671, is scheduled to be heard by the House Education Committee April 10.

 
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 is scheduled to be heard April 10 by the Senate Education Committee.  

Our Take

After hours of compelling testimony, nine members of the House Judiciary Committee voted to pass HB23-1249, Reduce Justice-involvement For Young Children. This legislation will end the prosecution of children 12 years and younger and empower alternative child-serving systems, including mental health, education, and child welfare agencies, to address the behavior, deliver treatment and family supports instead of prosecution. We applaud the members that voted to advance this important legislation.  

Take Action

Send a thank you note to the legislators that voted to pass HB23-1249 with one click!   

What We’re Reading

Opinion: Families shouldn’t go into debt paying for prison calls

School district invites mental health co-responders to assist school resource officers

Chalkbeat’s Education Bill Tracker 

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.  

Legislative Update

HB23-1003, School Mental Health Assessment, which creates the sixth through twelfth grade mental health assessment program will be heard April 6 in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.  

HB23-1024, Relative And Kin Placement Of A Child, which establishes measures to support reunification of a child or youth with their family when the child or youth has been temporarily placed with a relative or kin, will be heard April 5 by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.  

HB23-1089, Special Education Services For Students In Foster Care, which designates students in out-of-home placements as residents of the school district of their school of origin to increase stability and learning success, will be heard April 5 by Senate Education.  

HB23-1169, Limit Arrest For Low-level Offenses, which prohibits a peace officer from arresting a person based solely on the alleged commission of a petty offense, except for high level misdemeanors directly impacting victims (e.g. theft), was rescheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee April 5.  

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 to current state and federal standards and is scheduled to be considered by the House April 3.   

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, passed 10-0 by the House Education Committee.  

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, will be heard April 5 by the House Judiciary Committee.  

SB23-004, Employment Of School Mental Health Professionals, which authorizes a school district to employ health professions, who are not licensed by the Colorado Department of Education but hold a Colorado license for their profession will be heard by the House Education Committee April 6.  

SB23-039, Reduce Child And Incarcerated Parent Separation, which requires the Department of Human Services to prioritize and facilitate communication and family time between children and their parents who are incarcerated, is scheduled to be heard April 5 by the House Public & Behavior Health and Human Services Committee.  

SB23-70, Mandatory School Resource Officer Training, is a bill that would require a law enforcement officer to complete a Safe2Tell training curriculum before working as a school resource officer; it is scheduled to be heard April 6 in the Senate Education Committee.  

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, is scheduled to be heard April 3 by the House Education Committee.  

Our Take

Legislators are considering a policy that will help reduce recidivism by keeping families connected while a loved one is incarcerated. HB23-1133, Cost of Phone Calls for Persons in Custody, would make prison communication free across Colorado.  

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 repeatedly shown that when incarcerated people and their families are in regular communication, they do better both while they are behind bars serving their sentence and when they reenter the community, which improves safety for correctional officers and the public. 

Take Action

Ask legislators to reduce recidivism and keep families connected! 

Email your representative and ask them to support HB23-1133.  

What We’re Reading

State budget clears Colorado Senate, school funding TBD 

Chalkbeat’s Education Bill Tracker 

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.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

HB23-1001, Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs, which supports student teachers toward the goal of diversifying the teacher workforce, was sent to the Governor for signature. 

HB23-1003, School Mental Health Assessment, which creates the sixth through twelfth grade mental health assessment program was passed on third readings by the House. 

HB23-1089, Special Education Services For Students In Foster Care, which designates students in out-of-home placements as residents of the school district of their school of origin to increase stability and learning success, passed on third readings out of the House.  

HB22-1112, Earned Income And Child Tax Credits, which increases percentages of the federal credit that a resident individual can claim for the child tax credit on their state income tax and requires the Department of Revenue to adjust for inflation, is scheduled to be heard in the House Finance Committee on March 27.  

HB23-1151, Clarifications To 48-hour Bond Hearing Requirement, passed unanimously out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Current law requires an individual who is in jail to be brought before a judge for a bond hearing within 48-hours of arriving at the jail. This bill builds off previous bail reform to further clarify that medical emergencies or addiction treatment is an exception to the 48-hour rule, that the hearing can be held remotely or even through a phone call. 

HB23-1169, Limit Arrest For Low-level Offenses, which prohibits a peace officer from arresting a person based solely on the alleged commission of a petty offense, except for high level misdemeanors directly impacting victims (e.g. theft), was rescheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee March 28.  

HB23-1235, Technical Modification To Department Of Early Childhood, which makes technical changes HB22-1295, which created Colorado’s universal preschool program, is scheduled to be heard on March 29 in the House Education Committee. 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 to current state and federal standards was introduced in the House and assigned to the House Education Committee.  

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 on March 29 in the House Education Committee.  

HB23-1249, Reduce Justice Involvement for Young Children, was introduced in the House. This bill changes the minimum age – from 10 to 13 – of children who are subject to prosecution in juvenile court; except in the case of homicide.  

SB23-039, Reduce Child And Incarcerated Parent Separation, which requires the Department of Human Services to prioritize and facilitate communication and family time between children and their parents who are incarcerated, passed second readings in the Senate.  

Our Take 

As we shared in last week’s edition of Capitol Week in Review, increasing funding for the Ninth Grade Success Grant program is a top priority of Stand Colorado. 9th grade has come to be well known as the make-or-break year. How well students perform academically in 9th grade can predict their future success. The first year in high school has a huge impact on whether students graduate. In fact, students who end 9th grade on-track are three times more likely to graduate from high school than their off-track peers. (toandthrough.uchicago.edu)  

In Colorado, the Center for High School Success (CHSS), a Stand for Children program, partners with four districts who receive funds through the Ninth Grade Success Grant Program. In the 2021-22 school year, On-Track Rates in schools that partner with CHSS in Colorado grew an average of 19 percentage points, drastically increasing the number of students who will graduate in 2025.   

It’s clear that implementing a focused 9th grade success is changing the trajectory for Colorado students. By ensuring that students finish their 9th grade year on-track, we ensure students graduate high school prepared for post-secondary success. 

Learn more here

Take Action 

The House Appropriations Committee is considering HB23-1231, a bill to support math educators with evidence-based training and interventions to help K- 12th grade students struggling in math. The bill also 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. Ask the Appropriations Committee to support HB23-1231 with one click!

What We’re Reading 

Chalkbeat’s Education Bill Tracker  

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.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

HB23-1001, Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs, which supports student teachers toward the goal of diversifying the teacher workforce, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on March 13.  

HB23-1037, Department Of Corrections Earned Time For College Program Completion, which permits an inmate sentenced for a nonviolent felony offense to have earned time deducted from their sentence for each accredited degree or other credential awarded will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee March 13.  

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 passed second reading in the House and a final vote is expected soon.  

HB23-1064, Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, which makes it easier for active-duty military spouses to transfer their teaching licenses without further testing, thereby allowing them to teach in Colorado classrooms faster, is headed to the Governor for signature. 

HB23-1089, Special Education Services For Students In Foster Care, which designates students in out-of-home placements as residents of the school district of their school of origin to increase stability and learning success, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 16.  

HB23-1100, Restrict Government Involvement In Immigration Detention, passed out of the House. 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. It passed the House and was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the Judiciary Committee.  

HB23-1109, School Policies and Student Conduct, is scheduled to be heard for action only by the House Education Committee March 29.  This bill aims to strengthen due process rights for students, particularly as pertains to behavior off school grounds and outside of school hours. It also increases the training for expulsion hearing officers, including training around disabilities and trauma-informed care and interventions. 

HB23-1145, Hearing Timelines Juveniles in Adult Facilities, which aligns Colorado law’s hearing timelines for juveniles held in an adult facility while awaiting trial with the timelines in the federal “Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act”, passed the Senate on third readings 35-0.   

HB23-1198, Teacher Externship Program for Science Technology Engineering and Math Disciplines, which creates a statewide program to provide kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers work-based learning opportunities, passed House Education Committee and was referred to the Finance Committee.  

HB23-1207, Stipends For National Board-certified Educators, which allows stipends (up to $3200) for educators serving in low-performing, rural or high-needs school districts, passed the House Education Committee and was referred to the Appropriations Committee.   

HB23-1211, Collect Data Language Translation Services Special Education, which requires the Department of Education to track the provision of language translation services related to IEPs and include such data as part of its annual “SMART Act” was postponed indefinitely.  

SB23-004, Employment Of School Mental Health Professionals, which authorizes a school district to employ health professions, who are not licensed by the Colorado Department of Education but hold a Colorado license for their profession will be heard by the House Education Committee March 29.  

SB23-70, Mandatory School Resource Officer Training, is a bill that would require a law enforcement officer to complete a Safe2Tell training curriculum before working as a school resource officer; it passed the Senate unanimously on third reading.  

SB23-181, Concerning Screening of Dyslexia in Public Schools, builds on recommendations for further screening and training on how best to screen for individual literacy deficiencies was introduced in the Senate. The bill also establishes an independent ombudsman to represent parents of students with literacy needs.  

Our Take 

The House is expected to take a final vote soon on HB 23- 1042, Admissibility Standards For Juvenile Statements.  

In Colorado, children of color are one and a half to three times more likely to be arrested and interrogated than their white counterparts (CO Dept. of Public Safety, 2020). As a result, children of color are more often harmed by false confessions, directly contributing to the racial disparity in the criminal justice system.   

Currently, law enforcement may use deception during interrogation of youth. As you would imagine, children are more susceptible to manipulation and more likely to provide inaccurate information and false confessions under such pressure. In the last twenty-five years, youth who were exonerated after being convicted of crimes, 38% gave false confessions. 

 HB 23- 1042, Admissibility Standards For Juvenile Statements 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. 

Read personal testimony in support of this legislation on our blog here, here, here, and here.  

Take Action 

Last week, members of the House Education Committee heard hours of testimony from students, educators, and legal experts asking them to support HB23-1109, School Policies And Student Conduct. This is legislation that promotes restorative practices, ensures reduced legal system involvement, fosters fairness in a system that otherwise considers students guilty until proven innocent, and creates accountability for unregulated and untrained expulsion hearing officers 

Expelling students exposes them to a greater likelihood of delinquency or criminal system involvement and is therefore more expensive and less effective than keeping students in school. Email the House Education Committee and ask them to support HB23-1109.  

What We’re Reading 

The ‘Science of Reading’ and English-Language Learners: What the Research Says 

Chalkbeat’s Education Bill Tracker  

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.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

HB23-1001, Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs, which supports student teachers toward the goal of diversifying the teacher workforce, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on March 6.  

HB23-1024, Relative And Kin Placement Of A Child, which establishes measures to support reunification of a child or youth with their family when the child or youth has been temporarily placed with a relative or kin outside of the family home, passed unanimously in the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee and was referred to the Committee on Appropriations.  

HB23-1064, Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, which makes it easier for active-duty military spouses to transfer their teaching licenses without further testing, thereby allowing them to teach in Colorado classrooms faster, passed out of the Senate. 

HB23-1089, Special Education Services For Students In Foster Care, which designates students in out-of-home placements as residents of the school district of their school of origin to increase stability and learning success, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 9.  

HB23-1100, Restrict Government Involvement In Immigration Detention, passed out of the House. For years, Colorado taxpayers have been picking up the bill of the federal government by allowing the state to contract a private company to house or detain individuals for federal civil immigration purposes. This bill would prevent any such further contracts and begins a review process of these contracts over the next two years. It passed out of the House on third readings, 41-22. 

HB23-1109, School Policies and Student Conduct, was heard in the House Education Committee and laid over for a vote.  This bill aims to strengthen due process rights for students, particularly as pertains to behavior off school grounds and outside of school hours. It also increases the training for expulsion hearing officers, including training around disabilities and trauma-informed care and interventions. 

HB23-1145, Hearing Timelines Juveniles in Adult Facilities, which aligns Colorado law’s hearing timelines for juveniles held in an adult facility while awaiting trial with the timelines in the federal “Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act”, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate on March 6.  

HB23-1172, Child Welfare And Juvenile Court Jurisdiction, a bill brought by Denver Area Human Services that seeks to provide improved care for children in foster care while maintaining parent rights, was introduced in the Senate.  


HB23-1187, Alternatives In Criminal Justice System And Pregnant Persons, which requires the court to consider alternatives, such as probation, to pregnant or postpartum defendants if the risk of incarceration outweighs risk to the public, passed out of the House 44 – 19. 

HB23-1188, Individualized Learning Schools And Programs, which authorizes a public or charter school to offer an individualized learning program or become an individualized learning school, was rescheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 23.  

HB23-1198, Teacher Externship Program for Science Technology Engineering and Math Disciplines, which creates a statewide program to provide kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers work-based learning opportunities, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 8.  

HB23-1207, Stipends For National Board-certified Educators, which allows cash stipends (up to $3200) for teachers, social workers, librarians and administrators serving in low-performing, rural or high needs school districts, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 8.   

HB23-1211, Collect Data Language Translation Services Special Education, which requires the department of education to track the provision of language translation services related to IEPs and include such data as part of its annual “SMART Act” hearing, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 9.  

Our Take 

Hundreds of Colorado students are expelled from schools every year for low-level nonviolent conduct or based on mere allegations. This disproportionately impacts children of color and students with disabilities. 

On Thursday, the House Education Committee heard HB23-1109, School Policies And Student Conduct.  This is a bill that promotes restorative practices, ensures reduced legal system involvement, fosters fairness in a system that otherwise considers students guilty until proven innocent, and creates accountability for unregulated and untrained expulsion hearing officers. After hours of testimony, the bill was laid over for a vote on March 16.  

Expelling students exposes them to a greater likelihood of delinquency or criminal system involvement and is therefore more expensive and less effective than keeping students in school. We’re so grateful to the parents, educators, and community leaders who joined us to testify in support of this legislation. We stand for safe and supportive schools and communities for all students and are proud to advocate for this bill alongside so many students, educators, and legal experts.  

Here’s what they had to say:  

“If we don’t make the change now to have skillful and well-versed advocates making informed decisions for our students and their families then we are accepting a system that funnels students out of the classroom and into the juvenile and criminal legal system.” Tina Carroll, educator, parent, and Stand Advocacy Fellow  

“…young people will someday become adults and if we continue to treat them like marginalized members of society, we may pay a higher price in the end. If someone had taken the time to see me as more than a problem to get rid of, I might have had an easier road to get to where I am now.” Jesse Rula, educator, parent, and Stand Advocacy Fellow  

“As a high school counselor, I am forced to witness and triage the fallout of failed exclusionary discipline on practically a daily basis. Our best, most obvious solution is to focus on… addressing the harm done to individual and community…while focusing heavily on the rehabilitation of the perpetrator.” Lauren Kinney, school counselor and Stand Advocacy Fellow  

Take Action 

Expelling students exposes them to a greater likelihood of delinquency or criminal system involvement and is therefore more expensive and less effective than keeping students in school. Email the House Education Committee and ask them to support HB23-1109.  

What We’re Reading 

‘I spent over $6,763 on phone calls’: Colorado lawmakers debate bill to offer free phone calls to inmates 

Chalkbeat’s Education Bill Tracker 

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.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

HB23-1024, Relative And Kin Placement Of A Child, which establishes measures to support reunification of a child or youth with their family when the child or youth has been temporarily placed with a relative or kin outside of the family home, is scheduled to be heard in the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee on March 1.  

HB23-1064, Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, which makes it easier for active-duty military spouses to transfer their teaching licenses without further testing, thereby allowing them to teach in Colorado classrooms faster, will be heard by the Senate Education Committee February 27. 

HB23-1089, Special Education Services For Students In Foster Care, which designates students in out-of-home placements as residents of the school district of their school of origin to increase stability and learning success, was removed from the calendar to be rescheduled.  

HB23-1100, Restrict Government Involvement In Immigration Detention, passed on the House floor and a final vote is expected early next week. For years, Colorado taxpayers have been picking up the bill of the federal government by allowing the state to contract a private company to house or detain individuals for federal civil immigration purposes. This bill would prevent any such further contracts and begins a review process of these contracts over the next two years. 

HB23-1109, School Policies and Student Conduct is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 2. This bill aims to strengthen due process rights for students, particularly as pertains to behavior off school grounds and outside of school hours. It also increases the training for expulsion hearing officers, including training around disabilities and trauma-informed care and interventions. 

HB23-1133, Cost Of Phone Calls For Persons In Custody, which mandates that the Department of Corrections (DOC) shall provide communications services to persons in DOC custody in a correctional facility or private prison, was passed out of House Judiciary and referred to the Committee on Appropriations on a vote of 8-4. 

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 unanimously out of the House of Education and was referred to the Committee on Appropriations.  

 
HB23-1187, Alternatives In Criminal Justice System And Pregnant Persons, which requires the court to consider alternatives, such as probation, to pregnant or postpartum defendants if the risk of incarceration outweighs risk to the public, was referred to the Committee of the Whole on a vote of 9-4 out of House Judiciary. 

HB23-1188, Individualized Learning Schools And Programs, which authorizes a public or charter school to offer an individualized learning program or become an individualized learning school, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on March 2.  

HB23-1207, Stipends For National Board-certified Educators, which allows cash stipends (up to $3200) for teachers, social workers, librarians and administrators serving in low-performing, rural or high needs school districts, was introduced in the House.  

 
HB23-1212, Promotion Of Apprenticeships, directs the Office of Future of Work in the Department of Labor and Employment to create an apprenticeship navigator pilot program to promote apprenticeships to high school students, was introduced in the House.  

SB23-004, Employment Of School Mental Health Professionals, which authorizes a school district to employ health professions, such as psychologists, who are not licensed by the Colorado Department of Education but hold a Colorado license for their profession, was referred to the Committee of the Whole and will be placed on the consent calendar in the Senate. 

 
SB23-115, Department of Education Supplemental, which moves state dollars towards the Deptartment of Education for programs administered by the state, passed out of the House and will now be sent to the Governor. 

SB23-136, Adjustments To School Funding Fiscal Year 2022-23, which concerns the adjustment of state dollars to local school districts, passed out of the House and will now be sent to the Governor.  

SB23-158, Sunset Colorado Commission On Criminal And Juvenile Justice, which continues the Commission until September 1, 2028, was introduced in the Senate. 

OUR TAKE

We are thrilled HB23-1133, Cost Of Phone Calls For Persons In Custody, which mandates that the Department of Corrections (DOC) provide communications services to persons in DOC custody in a correctional facility or private prison, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.  

Natalie Perez, Stand Community Organizer, testified in support of the bill saying, “Phone calls should be accessible. It seems absurd that inmates have to pay the current rates for a phone call when sometimes that is the only way they can stay in touch with their loved ones.” 

1 in 3 families with an incarcerated loved one goes into debt trying to pay predatory prison telecom vendors to maintain contact and 87% of the financial burden is borne by women. Every child deserves to hear “I love you” from their parent. Communication mitigates the trauma suffered by the 1 in 28 children whose parents are incarcerated. When people incarcerated are connected to their outside lives there are less incidents in facilities and recidivism is reduced. The positive social and fiscal benefits associated with communication significantly outweigh its costs. 

WHAT WE’RE READING

For part-time college faculty, Colorado bill offers some relief. What about the larger problem?  

Chalkbeat’s Education Bill Tracker 

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.

Legislative Update

HB23-1001, Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs, which supports student teachers toward the goal of diversifying the teacher workforce passed the House and will be heard by the Senate Education Committee next. 

HB23-1003, School Mental Health Assessment, which creates the sixth through twelfth grade mental health assessment program passed in the House Public and Behavior Health and Human Services Committee on a 7-4 vote and was referred to the Committee on Appropriations.  

HB23-1064, Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, which makes it easier for active-duty military spouses to transfer their teaching licenses without further testing, thereby allowing them to teach in Colorado classrooms faster, passed 46 – 16 in the House.  

HB23-1089, Special Education Services For Students In Foster Care, which designates students in out-of-home placements as residents of the school district of their school of origin to increase stability and learning success, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on February 16.  

HB23-1100, Restrict Government Involvement in Immigration Detention passed in the House Judiciary Committee on a vote of 7 – 6. For years, Colorado taxpayers have been picking up the bill of the federal government by allowing the state to contract a private company to house or detain individuals for federal civil immigration purposes. This bill would prevent any such further contracts and begins a review process of these contracts over the next two years. 

HB 23-1112, Earned Income and Child Tax Credits, which will give more money to more working-class families by expanding eligibility of the Earned Income Tax Credit, is scheduled to be heard in the House Finance Committee on February 13.  

HB23-1145, Hearing Timelines Juveniles In Adult Facilities, passed unanimously in Committee and was referred to the Committee of the Whole. The bill aligns the timelines for hearings in Colorado law for a juvenile already ordered to be held in an adult facility while awaiting trial with the timelines in the federal “Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act”. 

HB23-1187, Alternatives In Criminal Justice System And Pregnant Persons, which requires the court to consider alternatives, such as probation, to pregnant or postpartum defendants if the risk of incarceration outweighs risk to the public, was introduced in the House. 

SB23-004, Employment Of School Mental Health Professionals, which authorizes a school district to employ health professions, such as psychologists, who are not licensed by the Colorado Department of Education but hold a Colorado license for their profession, passed unanimously in the Senate Committee of Health and Human Services. 

SB23-039, Reduce Child and Incarcerated Parent Separation, which requires the Department of Human Services to prioritize the facilitate communication and family time between children and their parents who are incarcerated will be heard February 13.

SB23-070, Mandatory School Resource Officer Training, which requires a law enforcement officer to complete a school resource officer training curriculum before working as a school resource officer, will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on February 13.  

SB23-071, Education Accountability Act, which allows a school district to seek judicial review or file a civil action for declaratory relief against rules, regulations, or final orders of the Colorado state board of education, will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on February 13.  

SB23-075, Deletion Of Child’s Name From Criminal Justice Records, which concerns children’s data privacy by ensuring that children’s names are not included in public criminal justice records, most notably by requiring the notation “child witness” on a criminal record involving a child witness, will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 13.  

SB23-082, Colorado Fostering Success Voucher Program, which establishes a program to provide housing vouchers and case management services to eligible foster youth, passed unanimously in the Senate Committee of Health and Human Services.  

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 unanimously in the Senate Education Committee. 

SB23-099, Special Education Funding, which increases special education funding by an additional $40M passed unanimously out of the Senate Education Committee.   

SB23-115, Department of Education Supplemental, which moves state dollars towards the dept. of education for programs administered by the state, passed unanimously in the Senate. SB23-136, Adjustments To School Funding Fiscal Year 2022-23, which concerns the adjustment of state dollars to local school districts, was introduced in the Senate.   

Our Take

Two of our teammates weighed in on policies designed to make schools and communities safer and more supportive.  

Stand organizer, Natalie Perez, testified in support of HB23-1003, School Mental Health Assessment, saying, “I believe our schools should be a safe place for our kids, and having a program where every child is assessed would go a long way. Having a qualified provider at every school in these times where our children are going through pain and large amounts of stress would not only create safer communities, but it would also help students understand what they are feeling.” 

Stand organizer, Vallerie Bustamante, testified in support of HB23-1100, Restrict Government Involvement in Immigration Detention, saying, “Growing up with the fear that my parents or any extended family member would end up detained and sent off to a facility where living conditions are evidently inhumane, was probably the first thought that crossed my mind as I woke up, as I overachieved in school, as I was thinking of what college to attend, as I applied to my first job at 15 to help with bills because my mom was laid off due to a warning about ICE coming to her factory, as I watched the news with anticipation whenever the highlight said ‘immigration reform’. Although an end all be all immigration reform has not been passed, legislation like the one presented today is certainly a step forward towards that direction.” 

What We’re Reading

Bill restricting government involvement in immigrant detention advances  

Proposal advances to add $40 million to Colorado’s special education funding  

Teacher apprenticeships among solutions lawmakers consider for educator shortages  

Incarcerated Coloradans could get released early by going to college  

Chalkbeat’s Education Bill Tracker 

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.

Legislative Update

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.  

Our Take

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.

Take Action

ASK HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO SUPPORT HB23-1042! 

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!

What We’re Reading

Colorado would expand financial aid, loan forgiveness for student teachers

Chalkbeat’s Education Bill Tracker

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.

Legislative update

HB23-1001, Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs, which supports student teachers toward the goal of diversifying the teacher workforce will be heard by the House Education Committee on January 26th.  

HB23-1003, School Mental Health Assessment, which creates the sixth through twelfth grade mental health assessment program will be heard by the House Public and Behavior Health and Human Services Committee on January 25th.

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 will be heard by the Senate Education Committee January 25th.

SMART Act Hearing

Colorado Department of Education staff presented before both the House and Senate Education Committees last week. They focused on the department’s strategic plan, student academic achievement, recent graduation and dropout rates, READ Act implementation, teacher workforce challenges, and an ESSER funding update.

Our Take

HB23-1001, Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs, which supports student teachers toward the goal of diversifying the teacher workforce is a top priority for us this session. While all students benefit from having a diverse teaching staff, students of color especially see tremendous benefits like improved academic performance and increased likelihood of going to college. Yet, many Colorado students may not have a single teacher of color in elementary, middle, or high school.

This legislation 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.

What We’re Reading

Gov. Jared Polis promises to fully fund Colorado schools within four years, Chalkbeat

Chalkbeat’s Education Bill Tracker

Welcome to a Special Edition of Capitol Week in Review!   The First Session of the 74th General Assembly kicked off this week with mostly pomp and circumstance. Members were sworn in, leadership elections took place, committee assignments were made, and legislation started being introduced. Capital Week in Review is back to bring 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. This week we are sharing key information about leadership in the general assembly, updates from the State Board of Education and Governor’s office as well as a rundown on our priorities for this session.

Legislative update

HB23-1001, Expanding Assistance For Educator Programs, which supports student teachers toward the goal of diversifying the teacher workforce was introduced in the House.  

HB23-1003, School Mental Health Assessment, which creates the sixth through twelfth grade mental health assessment program was introduced in the House.  

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 introduced in the House and assigned to the Judiciary Committee.  

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 was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the Education Committee.  

SB23-043, Continue School Access For Emergency Response Grant Program, extends the SAFER grant program for 5 years, until July 1, 2029. The SAFER Grant Program provides funding to encourage and provide training for seamless communivations between schools and first responders.

Senate and House Leadership Elected

Senate
President
Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder)
Minority Leader Paul Lundeen (R-El Paso)
 
House of Representatives
Speaker of the House Julie McCluskie
(D-Summit) Minority Leader Mike Lynch (R-Larimer)

Education Committee Members NaMED

Senate Education Committee Members

Chair: Janet Buckner

Vice-Chair: Janice Marchman  

House Education Committee Members

Chair: Barbara McLachlan

Vice-Chair: Matthew Martinez

Governor Polis Sworn in for Second Term

Governor Jared Polis was sworn in for a second term on January 10, 2023 in front of the State Capitol in Denver. During his inaugural address he highlighted some of his accomplishments such as free full-day kindergarten. While education was not a centerpiece of his speech, he did mention implementation of universal preschool. He also called for unity as Coloradans and acceptance of differences throughout his remarks, “No matter what part of Colorado you call home, who you are, or who you love. No matter your race, or your gender, or how you worship, or how you vote. Colorado belongs to all of us and we will all help shape our future.”

Stand Government Affairs Director, Bri Buentello joins our partners at Healthier Colorado at inaugration this week. 

Members of State Board of Education Sworn In

This week, recently elected members Kathy Plomer, Steve Durham, Rebecca McClellan, and Rhonda Solis were sworn in to the State Board of Education. Rebecca McClellan was named chair and Lisa Escárcega was named vice-chair of the State Board. Read more about the roles and responsibilities of the State Board of Education.

Members of our team attended the swearing in ceremony for the new State Board of Education members.

Our Take: Priorities this Session

Stand advocates for educational equity and racial justice in Colorado through meaningful partnerships with families, educators, schools, and policymakers by prioritizing early literacy, high school success, and safe and supportive schools and communities. During legislative session this year our team will be advocating alongside our partners for a variety of policies aligned to our mission.

Our top priorities include:

  • Expanding funding for the Ninth Grade On- Track and Expelled and At-Risk Student Services (EARSS) grant programs.
  • Repealing deceptive interrogation tactics for juveniles, updating expulsion policies, eliminating cash bail, and raising the age for detention from 10 to 13.
  • Finalizing the updated school funding formula to include a new proxy for poverty, ensure a dedicated English Language Learner (ELL) weight, create a better balance for cost-of-living adjustment amounts, and fully fund special education services across districts.

Continuing work towards diversifying the teacher workforce. 

What We’re Reading

2023 Colorado General Assembly: The people’s guide to following education issues, Chalkbeat  

First day: Colorado lawmakers pledge ‘thoughtful’ school funding debate amid budget constraints, Chalkbeat    

CSU’s teacher preparation program wins state approval, gets kudos for science of reading shiftColorado voters may be asked to forgo their future, Chalkbeat  

TABOR refunds so the state can boost school funding, Colorado Sun