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K–12 Legislative Narrative
February 23–February 27, 2015
This past Wednesday, February 26 marked the formal, but not strictly enforced, legislative deadline for the passage of all bills in their chambers of introduction. Both the House and Senate worked through long lists of bills on third and final reading last week. With respect to education issues, the majority of hearings were rescheduled and the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) took a break after finalizing the fiscal year 2014–2015 budget and preparing for the upcoming fiscal year 2015–2016 figure setting hearings. The JBC will conduct fiscal year 2015–2016 figure setting for Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) on Tuesday, March 3 and for Colorado Department of Education (CDE) the following Tuesday, March 10.
SB15-173, Senator Chris Holbert’s (R, DougCo) and Representative Dan Pabon’s (D, Denver) bill regarding student data privacy protections, is scheduled for the Senate Education Committee this Thursday, March 5. Bills concerning school district discipline, parent opt-out policies for standardized assessments, and modifications to the statewide assessment system will be introduced in March.
Review of Hearings this Week
House Education Committee
HB15-1170 Increasing Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (Reps. Kraft-Tharp and Wilson)
Requires CDE to include postsecondary enrollment information in the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Indicator for the District Performance Framework. Postsecondary enrollment information is annually verified through a private state data-sharing agreement between the Departments of Education and Higher Education. Enrollment information is obtained using the National Student Clearinghouse database. Postsecondary certificate, 2-year, and 4-year degree programs must be equally weighted within the PWR indicator. The bill also requires an existing or new member of District and School Accountability Committees act as a representative of a business or industry. Finally, the bill creates the position of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Coordinator within the Colorado Workforce Development Council, housed in the Department of Labor and Employment. The Council may enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Colorado Department of Education. The Coordinator is charged with providing assistance to school districts for PWR initiatives, including concurrent enrollment and career and technical education programs.
- Addl. Information:
o CDE is currently in the process of reviewing additional indicators for the School and District Performance Framework. http://www.cde.state.co.us/accountability/revisions_spf_dpf_2014
o Postsecondary enrollment data is tracked in Colorado through individual student identification numbers (SASID) and is reported by school and district in sub-aggregated student groups for the purposes of implementing Colorado’s Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) Initiative, as required by SB09-256. The ICAP Initiative does not release individual student data beyond the CDE/CDHE private data sharing agreement. http://www.coloradostateplan.com/Counseling/ICAP_Brief.pdf
The House Education Committee voted 10-1 to send HB15-1170 to the Appropriations Committee where it will wait for a hearing until after the introduction of the Long Bill (state budget) later this month.
Senate Finance Committee
SB15-131 Fostering Success Collaborative for Foster Youth (Sen. Newell)
Established a central and several multi-agency, multi-organizational fostering success collaboratives. The collaboratives would have included and promoted participation across departments, offices, and programs to align existing and new educational and support services for youth ages 13 and older who are currently, or were formerly, in the care of the state, or who were victims of human trafficking.
Testimony included a number of individuals formerly in foster care, a representative from College in Colorado at the Department of Higher Education, and a school counselor. The Senate committee voted 3-2 to postpone indefinitely (kill) SB15-131 due to concerns about funding and questions regarding the proper oversight department for the statewide collaborative. The bill required state appropriations of $140,000 in fiscal year 2015–2016 and $95,000 in fiscal year 2016–2017 and onwards for an FTE at College in Colorado, and also authorized CDHE to seek gifts, grants, and donations to fund collaborative initiatives.
Upcoming Legislative Hearing Schedule
March 2–6, 2015
- Monday, March 2
o House Education, 1:30 p.m., HCR0112
§ HB15-1221 Employee Leave to Attend Child's Academic Activities (Reps. Buckner and Fields)
§ HB15-1224 COF for Local District Junior College 4-Year Degree Programs [i.e., CMC] (Rep. Mitsch Bush)
o House State, Veterans and Military Affairs, 1:30 p.m., LSB-A
§ HB15-1148 Transfer General Fund Surplus to State Highway Fund (Rep. Brown)
- Tuesday, March 3
o Joint Budget Committee, Upon Adjournment, JBC Hearing Room
§ Fiscal year 2015–2016 Figure Setting Recommendations for CDHE
- Wednesday, March 4
o House Education, Upon Adjournment, HCR0112
§ SB15-051 Ineligible Students Appeal Process Injunctions (Rep. Priola)
§ HB15-1215 In-State Tuition Dependents of Military Members (Rep. Priola)
o House State Affairs, Upon Adjournment, LSB-A
§ HB15-1190 Assistance to Public Schools for Career Pathways (Rep. Windholz)
- Thursday, March 5
o Senate Education, 1:30 p.m., SCR356
§ SB15-173 School District Data Protection and Transparency (Sen. Holbert)
Addl. Legislative Hearings
- Tuesday, March 17
o House Public Health Care and Human Services, 1:30 p.m., HCR107
§ SB15-077 Parent's Bill of Rights (Rep. P. Neville)
* Live stream legislative hearings - http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/cslFrontPages.nsf/Audio?OpenPage