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 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treasurer is required to transfer unexpended money from the SAFER grant program’s cash fund when the grant program is repealed will be heard by the Senate Education Committee January 25th.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.
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.