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based on: Profile: LWVCO - Education

 
 
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LAC Lobbyists: Kathy Wilson


Bill: HB22-1010
Title: Early Childhood Educator Income Tax Credit
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date01/12/2022
DescriptionConcerning an income tax credit for eligible early childhood educators, and in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Fiscal Policy & Taxes
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
J. Buckner (D)
B. Kirkmeyer (R)
House:
E. Sirota (D)
T. Van Beber (R)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/10/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

The benefits of early childhood education are well documented, demonstrating a striking connection between children's learning experiences well before kindergarten and their later school success. When early childhood educators improve the quality of their education by receiving early childhood professional credentials or attaining higher credentialling levels, it improves the quality of children's early learning experiences. Additionally, early childhood education setting with credentialed teachers provide quality childcare settings, benefitting parents who need them for their children in order to maintain employment.

HB22-1010 provides tax relief for early childhood educators to assist them in investing in education to advance the quality of their teaching and learning related to their work with children in early childhood settings.

The bill creates a refundable income tax credit for early childhood educators who (a) have an adjusted gross income of less than or equal to $75,000 for a single return or $85,000 for a joint return, and (b) have held an early childhood professional credential for at least six months and are either the licensee or are employed by an eligible program for at least six months. The income tax credit would be adjusted for inflation.

The League supports equal access to quality education. HB 22-1010 Early Childhood Educator Income Tax Credit contributes to fostering quality education for young children by increasing their teachers’ knowledge base through education. The League also believes, when educating a young child, the school must provide a safe environment where learning can and does take place. The tax expenditure required from this bill induces early childhood educators to earn an early childhood professional credential or to attain higher credential levels which will enhance their teaching. Finally, this bill provides much needed tax relief for early childhood educators.

 

Summary

Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative
Commission. For 5 income tax years, the bill creates a refundable income
tax credit for an eligible early childhood educator who:
  • Has an adjusted gross income below specified thresholds;
and
  • For at least 6 months of the taxable year, holds an early

childhood professional credential and is either the head of
a family child care home or is employed with an eligible
early childhood education program or a family child care
home.
The bill specifies that an early childhood education program must
have achieved at least a level 2 quality rating under the Colorado shines
quality rating and improvement system and either have fiscal agreements
with the Colorado child care assistance program or meet the federal early
head start or head start standards for a program. The amount of the credit
is dependent on the eligible early childhood educator's credentialing level
and is annually adjusted for inflation.
The department of human services, or a successor department, is
required to provide the department of revenue with an electronic report
of each individual who held an early childhood professional credential
during the previous calendar year for which the credit is allowed.

House SponsorsE. Sirota (D)
T. Van Beber (R)
Senate SponsorsJ. Buckner (D)
B. Kirkmeyer (R)
House CommitteeEducation
Senate CommitteeFinance
StatusHouse Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/10/2022)
Amendments

Bill: HB22-1069
Title: Parent Authority To Request Public School Reforms
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date01/18/2022
DescriptionConcerning parents' authority to request reforms for low-performing schools.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
K. Priola (R)
House:
R. Bockenfeld (R)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (01/31/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

The bill allows parents to petition a school district or the Charter School Institute to implement parent-specified reforms for low-performing schools. The petition process can proceed up to the Colorado Board of Education. If the local school board disapproves the petition, petitioners may seek a recall election of school board members.

 The petitioner may request the local school board to adopt one or more of the following reforms to improve the performance of a low-performing school, including: (a) safety protocols and student discipline procedures; (b) alternative or supplementary curricula or programs; (c) requesting that the low-performing school be converted to a charter school, identifying a desired nonprofit charter school operator in the petition; (d) replacing school staff and faculty; or (e) allowing the institute to authorize new institute charter schools within the school district.

In 2000 the League opposed a move in the legislature that required the conversion of “failing” schools into independent charter schools operated by private groups similarly to HB22-1069. The League also opposed legislation in 2003 that became law allowing groups to apply to the State Charter School Institute to become a state charter school.

The Colorado League takes the position that the local school districts should bear the primary responsibilities for developing curriculum and selecting instructional materials. Clearly, the League does not support parent-specified reforms.

Based on these League positions, LWVCO opposes HB22-1069  Parent Authority to Request Public School Reforms.

 

Summary

The bill authorizes the parents of children enrolled in a
low-performing school, or the parents of children enrolled in schools that
matriculate to a low-performing school, (petitioner) to petition the school
district board of education for the low-performing school, or the state
charter school institute board if the low-performing school is an institute
charter school, (oversight board) to implement specified reforms. A

school is considered low-performing if it is required to adopt a priority
improvement or turnaround plan for 2 consecutive school years. The bill
specifies the types of reforms that a petitioner may request and the
requirements for petitions. A petition must be signed by at least 50% of
the parents of students enrolled in the low-performing school or in
schools that matriculate to the low-performing school.
If an oversight board receives a valid petition, the oversight board
must hold a meeting at which the petitioner may present the requested
reforms. The oversight board may propose alternative reforms, and the
petitioner may amend the requested reforms or withdraw the petition. At
the conclusion of the meeting, if the petitioner has not withdrawn the
petition, the oversight board must vote whether to implement the reforms,
as originally presented or as amended, and, if applicable, adopt a plan to
implement the reforms by the following school year.
If the oversight board chooses not to approve and adopt a plan to
implement the reforms, the petitioner may submit the petition to the state
board of education (state board) and may consider recall procedures
against the oversight board if it is a school district board of education.
If the state board receives a petition, it must hold a public hearing
at which it takes testimony from the petitioners, other eligible parents, and
the oversight board concerning the requested reforms. At the conclusion
of the hearing, the state board must decide whether to require the school
district or state charter school institute, whichever is applicable, to
implement the reforms or to require other specified actions. If the state
board requires the school district or the institute to take actions, the
low-performing school is subject to the same oversight and requirements
that apply to public schools that have been on priority improvement or
turnaround plans for 5 school years.

House SponsorsR. Bockenfeld (R)
Senate SponsorsK. Priola (R)
House CommitteeEducation
Senate Committee
StatusHouse Committee on Education Postpone Indefinitely (03/03/2022)
Amendments

Bill: HB22-1121
Title: Supporting Local Media
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date01/21/2022
DescriptionConcerning supporting local media.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Fiscal Policy & Taxes
- State Government
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:

House:
L. Cutter (D)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (03/18/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

Assuming that journalism ethics and standards are adhered to, local news media is an important source of unbiased information for communities to learn about the actions of their state and local governments. The local news media may be the only reliable news outlet in a community that covers local and state actions. When a local news media outlet closes, thereby creating a news desert, access to this information will be limited to in-person meeting attendance by the public, watching live stream online meeting broadcasts or recordings if available, word-of-mouth sharing, or social media - some of which can be less reliable sources.

Studies have shown that local news media tends to be more trusted than large social media platforms. Unfortunately, many local newspapers in Colorado are closing.

Currently, the amended version of HB22-1121 Supporting Local Media creates income tax credits for small businesses for supporting qualified local news media outlets through advertising.

A small business with fewer than 50 employees is allowed an income tax credit, not to exceed $2,500, in an amount equal to the amount paid by the eligible small business for local newspaper advertising.

“A qualified local news media outlet" means a print or digital publication that:

(i) primarily serves the needs of the state of Colorado or a regional or local community within Colorado with news, weather, and emergency information;


(ii) primarily has content derived from primary sources relating to news and current events;

(iii) employs at least one journalist who resides in Colorado and who regularly gathers, collects, photographs, records, writes, or reports news or information that concerns local events or other matters of local public interest;

(iv) is covered by media liability insurance;

(v) discloses its ownership to the public;

  “Disqualifying Organizations” include organizations:

(i) described in the Internal Revenue code in sections 501(c)(4) and 527;

(ii) received more than 50% of its gross receipts from or was owned by a disqualified organization the previous year.

One of the long-standing principles of the LWVUS is that democratic government depends upon informed and active participation in government and requires governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings, and making public records accessible.  Local news outlets support this League principle. For example, a rural local newspaper would inform readers about events such as school board or city council meetings and what was deliberated and decided at those meetings.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Finance Committee on Monday, March 21.

We recommend a change to a SUPPORT position from the LAC for several reasons. At the Business Affairs and Labor Committee meeting last week, we recommended that Sen. Cutter added the disqualifying stipulations outlined in the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(6) that include boards of trade, chambers of commerce, business leagues, real estate boards or football teams are providers of local or regional news in Colorado. This additional stipulation would make it more difficult for an organization with the intent of circumventing the 501(c)(4) designation to avoid being disqualified.

Summary

The bill requires all state departments to spend at least 50% of the
money they spend on advertising to Colorado residents in a fiscal year on
advertising through local newspapers. The bill further requires all
departments to report on their advertising spending during their annual
State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent
(SMART) Government Act presentations.
The bill also creates an income tax credit for supporting local
newspapers. For income tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023,

but before January 1, 2033:
  • A taxpayer is allowed a credit against their income taxes in
an amount equal to 50%, not to exceed $250, of the total
amount paid by the taxpayer for local newspaper
subscriptions or memberships for the personal use of the
taxpayer and of the contributions made by the taxpayer to
nonprofit local newspapers; and
  • A small business is allowed a credit against their income
taxes, not to exceed $2,500, in an amount equal to the
amount paid by the eligible small business for local
newspaper advertising.
If the amount of the credit allowed exceeds the amount of income
taxes otherwise due in the income tax year for which the credit is being
claimed, the bill permits the amount of the credit not used in the income
tax year to be carried forward as a credit against subsequent years' income
tax liability for a period not to exceed 10 years. Any amount of the credit
that is not used after such period is not refunded to the taxpayer.

House SponsorsL. Cutter (D)
Senate Sponsors
House CommitteeBusiness Affairs and Labor
Senate Committee
StatusHouse Committee on Appropriations Lay Over Unamended - Amendment(s) Failed (05/12/2022)
Amendments

Bill: HB22-1202
Title: At-risk Student Measure For School Finance
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date02/07/2022
DescriptionConcerning the creation of a new measure in the public school funding formula for identifying at-risk students, and, in connection therewith, creating a working group in the department of education to implement the new measure in a future budget year and making an appropriation.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
R. Zenzinger (D)
J. Coleman (D)
House:
L. Herod (D)
J. McCluskie (D)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (03/14/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

Beginning in FY 2023-24, HB22-1202 creates a new at-risk measure in the school finance formula to identify students who are at risk of below-average academic outcomes due to socioeconomic disadvantage or poverty. The new measure includes:

  • a district’s percentage of students certified as eligible for free lunch or categorical eligibility (foster, homeless, migrant, runaway or head start), supplemented by participation in Medicaid or Children’s Basic Health Plan;
  • a neighborhood socioeconomic status index that weights student needs based on at least five socioeconomic status neighborhood factors; and,
  • A working group that will construct and implement the new at-risk measure based on the parameters listed above.

Since 1968 the League has supported a state finance system that would provide enough funds for public schools to equalize educational opportunity and relieve property tax. Schools need adequate funding from the state for high-cost programs for students with special needs, and for decades, the LWVCO has supported funding for disadvantaged students. Unfortunately, Colorado schools are woefully underfunded due to the shift from local to state dollars, state statutes like TABOR and the Budget Stabilization Factor, the substantial increases in student population, and inflation.

 Establishing a new measure for at-risk funding will impact school finance formula funding, but the exact impact will depend on how the components considered by the working group are implemented. Because the details have not yet been determined, potential changes to the individual district allocations and total state share of school finance cannot be estimated at this time. Nevertheless, HB22-1202 is recommended by the Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance, and it has the potential to contribute increased revenue for needy districts.

Based on the League’s longstanding support for the need for adequate spending for disadvantaged students, I ask for a SUPPORT position on HB22-1202.

 

Summary

Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance. The bill
identifies a new at-risk measure to identify students who are at risk of
Capital letters or bold & italic numbers indicate new material to be added to existing law.
below-average academic outcomes because of socioeconomic
disadvantage or poverty in order to allocate resources through the state's
public school funding formula to serve those students. The new at-risk
measure will include:
  • The percentage of students certified as eligible for the
school lunch program based on documentation of benefit
receipt or categorical eligibility, supplemented by the
expansion of direct certification to participants in the
medical assistance program and the children's basic health
plan; and
  • A neighborhood socioeconomic-status index that weights
student needs based on socioeconomic-status index
neighborhood factors linked to each student's census block
group.
The commissioner of education (commissioner) shall convene a
working group to prepare for the implementation of the new at-risk
measure in the 2023-24 budget year. The bill specifies the membership
of the working group.
The bill includes issues that the working group may consider in
constructing and implementing the new at-risk measure, including
collecting necessary data, constructing a neighborhood
socioeconomic-status index linked to students' addresses, and testing the
at-risk measure with actual student data, if available.
The commissioner shall report findings and recommendations for
the construction and implementation of the new at-risk measure to the
legislative interim committee on school finance, the joint budget
committee, and the education committees of the general assembly.
The bill requires the department of education to apply to the
United States department of agriculture to obtain authorization for direct
certification of students participating in the medical assistance program
and the children's basic health plan.

House SponsorsL. Herod (D)
J. McCluskie (D)
Senate SponsorsR. Zenzinger (D)
J. Coleman (D)
House CommitteeEducation
Senate CommitteeEducation
StatusSigned by the President of the Senate (04/29/2022)
Amendments

Bill: HB22-1203
Title: Income Tax Credits For Nonpublic Education
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date02/07/2022
DescriptionConcerning the creation of income tax credits for nonpublic education.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Fiscal Policy & Taxes
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:

House:
R. Hanks (R)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/18/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

The bill establishes a private school tuition income tax credit that allows any taxpayer to claim a credit when the taxpayer enrolls a qualified child in a private school or the taxpayer provides a scholarship to a qualified child for enrollment in a private school. The bill also establishes an income tax credit any taxpayer who uses home-based education. Fiscally, the results of this bill would subtract from our tax base.

The position of the League is that local public school districts should have adequate sources of income and should have control over the use of public funds. Since 1978 the US League adopted a position opposing tax credits for private schools.  The LWVCO has consistently opposed tuition tax credits for private school tuition in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019. Public money should be used for public education.

Summary

The bill establishes a private school tuition income tax credit for
income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2023, but prior to
January 1, 2028, that allows any taxpayer to claim a credit when the
taxpayer enrolls a qualified child in a private school or the taxpayer
provides a scholarship to a qualified child for enrollment in a private
school. The private school issues the taxpayer a credit certificate and the

amount of the credit is:
  • For full-time attendance, an amount equal to either the
tuition paid or the scholarship provided to a qualified child,
as applicable, or 50% of the previous year's state average
per pupil revenues, whichever is less; and
  • For half-time attendance, an amount equal to either the
tuition paid or the scholarship provided to a qualified child,
as applicable, or 25% of the previous year's state average
per pupil revenues, whichever is less.
The bill also establishes an income tax credit for income tax years
commencing on or after January 1, 2023, but prior to January 1, 2028,
that allows any taxpayer who uses home-based education for a qualified
child to claim an income tax credit in an amount equal to:
  • $1,500 for a taxpayer who uses home-based education for
a qualified child who was enrolled on a full-time basis in a
public school in the state prior to being taught at home; and
  • $750 for a taxpayer who uses home-based education for a
qualified child who was enrolled on a half-time basis in a
public school in the state prior to being taught at home.
Both credits may be carried forward for 3 years but may not be
refunded. In addition, the credits may be transferred, subject to certain
limitations.

House SponsorsR. Hanks (R)
Senate Sponsors
House CommitteeEducation
Senate Committee
StatusHouse Committee on Education Postpone Indefinitely (02/24/2022)
Amendments

Bill: HB22-1206
Title: Prohibit Discriminatory Practices In Schools
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date02/08/2022
DescriptionConcerning prohibiting discriminatory practices in public schools.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:

House:
D. Williams (R)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (03/01/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

The bill prohibits teaching or using instructional materials in public schools that promote discrimination. Public schools are prohibited from employing certain discriminatory practices based on a student's, a student's family, or a teacher's race or ethnicity.

If the Commissioner of Education finds that a school or district knowingly violates the prohibition, the school or district must pay a fine of $25,000 to the State Education Fund.


An employee, or a parent or guardian of a minor student, may bring a civil suit for injuries suffered from being subjected to a violation of the prohibition. If a civil action is brought for these injuries, the bill waives sovereign immunity for public schools.

The important sections of this bill are in the definitions of what “Discriminatory Practices” are and what schools can and cannot teach and do.

A bedrock Principle of the US League applies to HB22-1206. We believe that “democratic government depends upon informed and active participation in government and requires governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know…”. As HB22-1206 is written, students have the potential for not becoming more informed and ready for active participation as a citizen, because teachers in Colorado schools may become limited in teaching important periods of US history through multiple perspectives of the representative groups living at the time. The lack of knowledge from restricted instruction can become problematic when informed decision-making is required in adulthood. Public schools are run by governmental entities for the good of all of its citizens and must protect our students’ right to know about our country’s history - the good and the bad.

Summary

The bill prohibits teaching or using instructional materials at
public schools that promote discrimination.
The bill prohibits public schools from certain discriminatory
practices based on a student's, student's family, or teacher's race or
ethnicity.
The bill creates a $25,000 fine to be paid by the school district of

the public school, or by the state charter school institute in the case of an
institute charter school, to the state education fund if the commissioner of
education finds that a public school knowingly violates a prohibition.
The bill waives sovereign immunity and creates a civil action
against a public school and the school district or board of cooperative
services or the state charter school institute that violates a prohibition.

House SponsorsD. Williams (R)
Senate Sponsors
House CommitteeJudiciary
Senate Committee
StatusHouse Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely (03/22/2022)
Amendments

Bill: HB22-1376
Title: Supportive Learning Environments For K-12 Students
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date04/14/2022
DescriptionConcerning supportive learning environments for K-12 students, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Children & Domestic Matters
- Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
K. Priola (R)
F. Winter (D)
House:
L. Herod (D)
M. Young (D)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/04/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

HB22-1376 Supportive Learning Environments for K-12 Students makes changes to state law related to school discipline, use of restraint and seclusion, data reporting and availability, enforcement authority, school resource officers, and the expelled and at-risk students grant program.

More specifically, the bill requires the Colorado Department of Education to standardize the reporting method that schools use to collect and report data on suspensions, expulsions, arrests, absenteeism, incidents of violence, harassment, bullying, and other metrics. After gathering these data and in consultation with a variety of stakeholders, the CDE must develop profile reports for each school district and the Charter School Institute. The profile reports must include chronic absenteeism rates; the number of expulsions, suspensions, school-related arrests, law enforcement referrals; and the number of students handcuffed, physically restrained, and placed in seclusion.

The bill requires that school reporting on disciplinary code violations include additional information, such as a descriptive information on the students involved in the incident, behaviors that led to the incident, and interventions attempted, the number and types of disciplinary incidents and disciplinary actions taken in response, at a student level. Finally, the CDE will report the disaggregated data by age, ethnicity, race, gender, and other categories.

Along with other modes of prohibited discipline actions like the use of seclusion and handcuffs, the bill gives the CDE enforcement authority for investigations and decisions concerning the use of restraint on students and requires that the CDE makes training available for school staff and administrators on restrain and seclusion laws.

The League believes the state legislature may establish base levels of expectations in the area of discipline in order to ensure consistency and equity. We also believe in the support of a juvenile justice system that has, among other aspects, the safety and well-being of the offender.

Summary

The bill requires the department of education (department) to
compile data and create reports based on information received from
school districts and charter schools (schools) related to chronic
absenteeism rates, the number of in-school and out-of-school suspensions,
the number of expulsions, the number of students handcuffed or
restrained, the number of referrals to law enforcement, and the number of

school-related arrests. The department shall annually update and post
such data and reports on its website.
The department shall create easily accessible and user-friendly
school district profiles relating to school climate, including school climate
surveys.
Restrictions concerning the use of restraints on students are
increased, including providing, creating, and implementing training for
school staff and school security staff on the use of restraints and adding
restrictions to the use of restraints on students.
The department is required to develop a policy for hiring, training,
and evaluating school resource officers.
For the state fiscal year 2022-23, the bill requires an additional
appropriation of $2 million to the department to continue the expelled and
at-risk student services program for the purpose of providing services and
supports to develop effective attendance and discipline systems, to
address educational inequities and disproportionate discipline practices,
and to offer staff training and technical assistance to ensure the culturally
responsive implementation of services and supports.

House SponsorsL. Herod (D)
M. Young (D)
Senate SponsorsK. Priola (R)
F. Winter (D)
House CommitteeEducation
Senate CommitteeJudiciary
StatusSenate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments (05/11/2022)
Amendments

Bill: SB22-004
Title: Evidence-based Training In Science Of Reading
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date01/12/2022
DescriptionConcerning measures to support evidence-based literacy instruction for students in early grades, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
B. Rankin (R)
J. Bridges (D)
House:
J. McCluskie (D)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (05/03/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

Under current law, local education providers that receive per-pupil intervention money or grants under the Early Literacy Grant Program (READ Act) must ensure that all early grade teachers successfully complete evidence-based training in the science of reading instruction. If requested, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) must provide the training at no cost.

Beginning with the 2023-24 school year, this bill extends the training requirement to each principal in schools serving kindergarten through third grade, and any administrator with responsibility for early grade programs. Beginning in FY 2023-24, LEPs must submit evidence they are in compliance with the principal and administrator training requirement to receive per-pupil intervention money.

By January 2023, the board of trustees for any public library must adopt policies to support parents and children to improve reading and ensure that each librarian successfully completes evidence-based training in the science of reading instruction. Public libraries must also make evidence-based materials and activities available to improve reading.

The League believes the state legislature may establish base level expectations in academic achievement to ensure consistency and equity across the state. SB22-004 Evidence-based Training in Science of Reading increases the knowledge base in principals and language arts administrators in science-based reading practices that have showed evidence of their effectiveness. Having school administration and teachers in K-3 schools and classrooms with similar understandings of high-quality teaching practices for early reading has been shown to better promote higher achievement and practices across the early grades. This bill should achieve more consistent teaching across Colorado.  LWVCO supports this bill.

Update: On Feb. 10 SB 004  was passed by the Education Committee with a 9-0 vote after amending the text of the bill saying that librarians would have access to the training, but would not be required to take it. This was after several librarians provided testimony opposing the requirement. Testimony for the rest of the bill regarding principals and school specialists was very positive. The bill has been sent to Appropriations.

Additionally, having public librarians also receive professional development in evidence-based early reading methods and materials will allow librarians to work with young children and their families to better support the acquisition of foundational reading skills and strategies. The League supports measures which promote, help, and encourage families to prepare their young children to meet academic standards.

Summary

By the beginning of the 2023-24 school year and continuing
thereafter, the bill requires each school district, board of cooperative
services, and charter school (local education provider) to ensure that the
principal in a school that serves kindergarten or any of grades one through
3 and each school district administrator with responsibility that pertains
to programs in kindergarten or any of grades one through 3 to

successfully complete evidence-based training in the science of reading.
The local education provider may request a one-year extension from the
state board of education to ensure that the teachers, principals, and
administrators whom it employs meet the training requirements. Each
local education provider must submit to the department of education
(department) evidence that it is in compliance with the principal and
administrator training requirements to receive per-pupil intervention
money in a budget year.
The bill requires the board of trustees for each public library to
adopt a policy by January 1, 2023, to support parents and children in
improving literacy through the science of reading. The policy must
include a requirement that:
  • Each librarian successfully complete evidence-based
training in the science of reading;
  • The director of the board of trustees maintain an accurate
list on the library website of the librarians who successfully
complete the training; and
  • The director of the board of trustees identify materials and
activities for parents and children to improve literacy and
ensure that the materials and activities are available in the
public library and are updated monthly.
Upon request of a local education provider or the board of trustees
of a public library, the department shall provide training in the science of
reading to principals and administrators of the local education provider
and librarians of the public library for free.
The bill directs the state librarian to work with public libraries
throughout the state to facilitate access to evidence-based training in the
science of reading for librarians and assist in identifying materials and
activities for parents and children to improve literacy.

House SponsorsJ. McCluskie (D)
Senate SponsorsB. Rankin (R)
J. Bridges (D)
House CommitteeEducation
Senate CommitteeEducation
StatusSenate Considered House Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass (05/10/2022)
Amendments

Bill: SB22-039
Title: Funding For Educational Opportunities
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date01/14/2022
DescriptionConcerning funding for educational opportunities, and, in connection therewith, creating a scholarship program for students to pursue educational opportunities.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
P. Lundeen (R)
B. Kirkmeyer (R)
House:
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (02/16/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

The General Assembly has determined that stabilization of the state budget requires a reduction in the amount of the annual appropriation to fund the state's share of total program funding for all school districts and institute charter schools. To counter budget stabilization by reducing state school funding, this bill requires the state treasurer to transfer $723 million from the general fund to the state education fund for the 2022-23 budget year. Then, for the 2023-24 budget year and each budget year thereafter, the budget stabilization factor will be eliminated. 

Using the funds from the elimination of the budget stabilization factor, the bill also creates the Hope Scholarship Program that will fund:
(a) tuition or fees at a nonpublic elementary, middle, or high school, including a nonpublic online school;
(b) costs incurred in providing a nonpublic home-based educational program 
(c) costs or fees for tutoring by an approved supplemental educational services provider.

The Department of Education would be required to transfer the funds for the Hope Scholarship to the outside administering entity not associated with the Colorado Department of Education.

The League of Women Voters of Colorado supports adequate sources of revenue for PreK-12th grade public education. Based on the influx of funding for the 2022-2023 budget year and the elimination of the Budget Stabilization Factor, we would support this segment of the bill. Unfortunately, the rest of the bill is highly concerning.

The League supports public education. This bill would create the Hope Scholarship, which would siphon 125% of state per pupil funds from public schools to fund nonpublic schools, home schooling and nonpublic online schools of a parents’ choice. Additionally, the funds could be used for tutoring or AP exam costs or before/after/summer school programs or special ed services if student not in public K-12 schools. To put this into perspective, the Fiscal Note for SB22-039 states that if the bill became law it would send 3/4 billion dollars to K-12 in FY 22-23, but then fund students' non-public school costs by raiding the K-12 fund at a rate of half a billion dollars in the out year.

The position of the League is that a state school finance system needs to provide public schools with adequate sources of revenue. Additionally, local public school districts should have control over the use of those funds. Public funds should not be used to undermine the funding of public schools.

Finally, the League believes that the Colorado Department of Education should take a strong leadership role to encourage educational improvement. This bill would transfer authority to an outside administrative entity to administer the Hope Scholarship.

LWVCO strongly opposes SB 22-039.

Summary

The bill requires the state treasurer to transfer $723 million from
the general fund to the state education fund for the 2022-23 budget year.
The bill repeals the budget stabilization factor starting in the
2023-24 budget year, and for each budget year thereafter.
The bill creates the Hope Scholarship Program (program) in the

department of education (department). The purpose of the program is to
meet the educational needs of every eligible student by assisting with
certain education expenses. The bill requires:
  • The department to contract with an entity that will
administer the program (administering entity);
  • The department to transfer to the administering entity an
amount equal to 125% of the prior budget year's average
state share of per pupil revenues for an eligible student who
receives a scholarship;
  • The department to prorate the amount transferred to the
administering entity based on the amount of time remaining
in the budget year, and deduct the amount transferred from
the amount that the department distributes to the eligible
student's school district of residence for the budget year in
which an account is created, subject to limitations;
  • The parent of an eligible student to apply to the
administering entity for a scholarship;

  • A parent of an eligible student to only spend scholarship
money on defined eligible expenses; and
  • The administering entity to oversee the program and
perform an audit to ensure scholarship money is spent on
defined eligible expenses.

House Sponsors
Senate SponsorsP. Lundeen (R)
B. Kirkmeyer (R)
House Committee
Senate CommitteeEducation
StatusSenate Committee on Education Postpone Indefinitely (02/24/2022)
Amendments

Bill: SB22-087
Title: Healthy Meals For All Public School Students
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date01/20/2022
DescriptionConcerning providing healthy meals to public school students.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
R. Fields (D)
B. Pettersen (D)
House:
D. Michaelson Jenet (D)
S. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/06/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

SB22-087 creates the Healthy School Meals for All program in the Colorado Department of Education to provide reimbursement to school food authorities for offering free meals to all students for free meals provided to students who are not eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the federal school meals programs. Schools that choose to participate must maximize the amount of federal reimbursement by participating in the federal community eligibility provision to identify students who are eligible for the federal school meals programs. The amount of reimbursement distributed to the program is equal to the federal free reimbursement rate multiplied by the total number of meals served, minus any other federal or state reimbursement the school food authority receives for providing meals.

Healthy school meals are necessary for all students for effective learning, and Colorado’s investment in education should include healthy school meals for all students to support the nourishment students need to achieve academic success.
Access to healthy school meals should not cause stigma of free lunch, stress, or paperwork for any student and their family seeking an education. It would help families with food insecurity who are struggling to put food on the table, including some military families and children from undocumented families who are reluctant to complete the necessary paperwork.

There will be a local school food purchasing technical assistance and education grant program to issue a grant to a statewide nonprofit organization to develop and manage a grant program to assist with the promotion of Colorado grown, raised, or processed products and to assist in preparing meals using basic ingredients, with minimal reliance on processed products. The bill would raise pay for food service workers.  It also requires that CDE apply to participate in a federal direct certification demonstration project.

The League believes that in equalizing educational opportunity. Having sufficient funding for good nutrition for all Colorado public school children to learn and be academically successful will help to provide equity for students and school districts.

This bill is currently in the queue for a hearing the Senate Appropriations Committee.

 

Summary

The bill creates the healthy school meals for all program (program)
in the department of education (department) to reimburse school food
authorities for free meals provided to students who are not eligible for
free or reduced-price meals under the federal school meals programs. The
program begins operating in the 2023-24 budget year, subject to the state
being selected to participate in the federal demonstration project to use

medicaid eligibility to identify students who are eligible for the federal
school meals programs (demonstration project).
A school food authority that chooses to participate in the program
(participating school food authority) must:
  • Provide free meals to all students enrolled in the public
schools that the participating school food authority serves;
  • Provide to the department annual notice of participation;
and
  • Maximize the amount of federal reimbursement by
participating in the federal community eligibility provision
to identify students who are eligible for the federal school
meals programs.
The amount of reimbursement distributed pursuant to the program
is equal to the federal free reimbursement rate multiplied by the total
number of meals served, minus any other federal or state reimbursement
the school food authority receives for providing meals.
The bill requires the department to:
  • Participate in the federal community eligibility provision
for the state as a whole, if that option is available; and
  • Apply to participate in the demonstration project.
Under the bill, a participating school food authority that creates a
parent and student committee to advise on food purchasing (advisory
committee) is eligible to receive a local food purchasing grant (grant) to
purchase Colorado grown, raised, or processed products for school meals.
Each eligible participating school food authority must comply with
reporting requirements. The bill establishes the amount of the grants,
limits on how the grant money may be spent, and the required
membership of the advisory committee. The department must annually
review a sample of the invoices for purchases made using grant money to
ensure compliance with purchasing requirements.
Under the bill, a participating school food authority may receive
an additional amount to increase the wages for individuals employed to
prepare and serve food.
The bill creates the local school food purchasing technical
assistance and education grant program (grant program), under which a
statewide nonprofit organization distributes grants to promote the
purchase of Colorado grown, raised, or processed products by
participating school food authorities and to assist participating school
food authorities in preparing meals using basic ingredients rather than
processed products. The nonprofit organization must report annually to
the department concerning implementation of the grant program.
The department must submit to committees of the general
assembly a biennial report concerning implementation of the program.
The department must contract with an independent auditor to conduct a
biennial financial and performance audit of the program. The report and
the audit must include implementation of the program, implementation of
the local food purchasing grants, use of the additional amount for
increasing wages, and implementation of the grant program.
The bill directs the general assembly to appropriate annually, by
line item in the annual appropriation bill, the amount necessary to
implement the program, including a specified amount for the grant
program.

House SponsorsD. Michaelson Jenet (D)
S. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D)
Senate SponsorsR. Fields (D)
B. Pettersen (D)
House Committee
Senate CommitteeEducation
StatusSenate Committee on Appropriations Postpone Indefinitely (05/10/2022)
Amendments

Bill: SB22-127
Title: Special Education Funding
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date02/08/2022
DescriptionConcerning funding for special education services, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
R. Zenzinger (D)
B. Kirkmeyer (R)
House:
C. Larson (R)
J. McCluskie (D)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/05/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary

The bill increases special education funding and requires the Special Education Fiscal Advisory Committee to complete a report on special education funding in the state.

The bill increases categorical special education funding by about $93.2 million in FY 2022-23 and FY 2023-24.

Beginning in FY 2022-23, the bill increases Tier A funding from $1,250 to $1,750 for each student with a disability and appropriates $40 million for Tier B distributions. Tier B funding increases from $3,392 to $5,088 per eligible student, based on current enrollment. It also requires that these amounts to increase by inflation annually, beginning in FY 2024-25.


SB22-127 requires that the Special Education Fiscal Advisory Committee submit a report to the education committees of the General Assembly no later than January 1, 2023, that includes an analysis of:


  • special education funding models and disability categories in other states compared to in Colorado;
    · the actual costs to provide special education services in Colorado;
    · the effectiveness of the current funding model for special education services and whether it adequately supports special education services;
    · the high-cost special education trust fund;
    · the current disability categories for students with disabilities and whether the categories are sufficient for meeting students’ needs; and
    · recommended changes to the special education funding model.

 

The US League believes every person should have access to free public education that provides equal opportunity for all. In fact, the US League believes that an equitable quality public education is critical for students.

 

Adequate funding sources are called for to support equitable quality public education. It is important that equity does not mean equal; some populations are more expensive to educate than others, including special education populations. For example, some programs for student with multiple disabilities are classified as high-cost programs. 

 

The League calls for supporting programs for students with special needs as a way of equalizing educational opportunity. Finally, the League believes that programs should be carried out to meet the specific needs of the people they are intended to reach. Schools need adequate special education funding for these programs, and in recent years Colorado as not been adequately funding both regular and special education programs, due to the budget stabilization factor. SB22-127 Special Education Funding will remedy some of the shortfall.  

Summary

Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance. Current law
requires the department of education to distribute to each administrative
unit $1,250 for each child with a disability who receives special education
services from the administrative unit. The bill increases the amount to
$1,750 and requires the amount to increase by the rate of inflation each
budget year beginning with the 2024-25 budget year.
The bill increases the required annual appropriation by an
additional $40 million to fund children who have one or more disabilities
Capital letters or bold & italic numbers indicate new material to be added to existing law.
and receive special education services from an administrative unit and
requires the amount to increase by the rate of inflation each budget year
beginning with the 2024-25 budget year.
The bill requires the special education fiscal advisory committee
to submit a report to the education committees of the general assembly on
or before January 1, 2023. The report must include the following
information:
  • An analysis of funding for special education services in
other states compared to the funding model used in
Colorado, with a focus on the proportionate share between
federal, state, and local funding and how other states fund
different categories of disabilities to target the needs of
children with disabilities;
  • An analysis of the actual costs to provide special education
services to children with disabilities in Colorado;
  • An analysis of the effectiveness of the current model for
funding special education services, including whether the
current funding model adequately supports special
education services;
  • An examination of the high-cost special education trust
fund (fund) that includes how the fund is operated, who
receives funding from the fund, and how the fund impacts
those who receive funds;
  • An analysis of the current disability categories for children
with disabilities and whether the disability categories are
sufficient for meeting the needs of children with
disabilities; and
  • Recommended changes, if any, to the special education
services funding model.

House SponsorsC. Larson (R)
J. McCluskie (D)
Senate SponsorsR. Zenzinger (D)
B. Kirkmeyer (R)
House CommitteeEducation
Senate CommitteeEducation
StatusSigned by the Speaker of the House (05/10/2022)
Amendments

Bill: SB22-213
Title: Child Care Support Programs
VotesVotes all Legislators
Hearing Date
Hearing Time
Hearing Room
Intro Date04/19/2022
DescriptionConcerning continuing support for necessary child care programs, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
HistoryBill History
Save to Calendar
Bill Subject- Children & Domestic Matters
- Human Services
Bill DocsBill Documents
Sponsors (House and Senate)Senate:
J. Sonnenberg (R)
R. Fields (D)
House:
A. Valdez (D)
K. Tipper (D)
Fiscal NotesFiscal Notes (04/27/2022)
Full TextFull Text of Bill
LobbyistsLobbyists
Position
Category
Comment
Custom Summary
Summary

The bill appropriates:
  • $50 million from federal funds from child care
development funds for the purposes of implementing the
child care sustainability grant program;
  • $19 million from the economic recovery and relief cash
fund to emerging and expanding the child care grant

program;
  • $10 million from the economic recovery and relief cash
fund to implement the employer-based child care facility
grant program;
  • $15 million from the economic recovery and relief cash
fund to implement the early child care and education
recruitment and retention grant and scholarship program.
Of the $15 million, $2 million must be dedicated for home
visiting workforce, early childhood mental health
consultants, and early intervention providers, with $1.4
million of the $2 million dedicated for non-educator
workforce scholarships and loan forgiveness, and $600,000
for developing consistent workforce pathways; and
  • One million dollars to create and implement
family-strengthening grant programs from the economic
recovery and relief cash fund.
The bill creates the family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) support
programs, which include an advisory group and a training program. The
family, friend, and neighbor advisory group is created to advise the
department on the needs of FFN providers and to make recommendations
on changes to regulations, policies, funding, and procedures that would
benefit the FFN community. The family, friend, and neighbor training
program is created to allow community-based organizations and nonprofit
organizations that have expertise working with FFN providers to provide
them with information, training, and technical assistance to support best
practices.
Subject to available appropriations, the department of early
childhood shall make existing state programs available to the FFN
community, including, but not limited to, home visitation, early
intervention, early childhood mental health, workforce recruitment and
retention, and family resource center services.
The bill appropriates $4.5 million from the economic recovery and
relief cash fund to implement the FFN support programs.

House SponsorsA. Valdez (D)
K. Tipper (D)
Senate SponsorsJ. Sonnenberg (R)
R. Fields (D)
House CommitteePublic and Behavioral Health & Human Services
Senate CommitteeHealth and Human Services
StatusSigned by the President of the Senate (05/11/2022)
Amendments
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