An exciting first week at the Capitol!
Things are already moving fast at the Capitol! Bills are being introduced and Governor Polis is setting the tone for what we hope will be a successful session for education funding in the state of Colorado.
Key Highlights from This Week
The Joint Budget Committee (JBC)
- This week, the JBC is being briefed on higher education funding and spending in Colorado.
- Legislators on this committee are making it known that they are aware of the issues K-12 education is faced with when it comes to funding by emphasizing that educational funding issues start with pre-K-12 and feed all the way into higher ed.
- The teacher shortage and the issue of educator prep has been a big part of the higher education conversation this week. Bills will be coming forward to address the teacher shortage, focused specifically on increasing teacher fellowship slots and incentives.
The Governor’s “State of the State”
Governor Polis delivered the “State of the State” on Thursday, January 10, addressing education as a whole, with a specific focus on early childhood education and full-day kindergarten. Some promises Polis made during that speech include:
- Funding full-day kindergarten by Fall 2019
- Ensuring meaningful expansion of early childhood education
- Increasing compensation for the teaching profession
- Increasing graduation rates
What’s Coming Up?
- Upcoming bills we’re monitoring:
- Governor Polis will be working with the legislature to introduce a bill that would fully fund full-day kindergarten. Full-day Kindergarten will still not be mandated, however with the passage of this proposed bill, in the first year Kindergarten funding will go from .58 to 1.05 FTE to give an incentive for districts to go to full-day. In following years, it will be 1.0 FTE.
- Wednesdays will be big for education! House and Senate Education Committees will be meeting every Wednesday. If you’d like to start attending those meetings with Great Ed, please contact Betsy.
Legislator Highlight of the Week
We are so proud and excited to announce our first legislator highlight, the newly appointed Representative Cathy Kipp of House District 52! Representative Kipp has not only served on the Poudre School Board for the past two years, but has also been an incredible Great Ed advocate! During signature gathering for Amendment 73, Representative Kipp became our number one signature gatherer as she traveled with Great Ed staff and individually across the state to gather over 5,500 signatures.
We are thrilled to have a public education funding advocate like Representative Kipp in the Capitol! To hear more from her, click the picture of Rep. Kipp below.
And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for Great Ed’s Lobby Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, March 13!