This week at the Capitol: full-day Kindergarten, legislative meet-ups and more!

The biggest news from the Capitol for Great Ed, is our official support of Governor Polis’s push to fund full-day Kindergarten by Fall 2019. We are excited to announce we will be joining the Governor’s coalition in support of full-day K and working to make sure our kids get the education they need from day one. The Governor’s proposal is an important first step toward reversing decades of chronic underfunding in our public schools, but we must continue advocating for the necessary funding to ensure that all Colorado children — regardless of where they live or how they learn — graduate prepared to lead their best lives. Let us know what you think about full-day K!

Legislative Meet-Ups

As a member of the Great Schools, Thriving Communities Coalition that created Amendment 73, Great Ed helped co-host a legislative event, inviting legislators to hear about our asks for the session. Fourteen legislators attended, promising to work on a revenue fix for funding our schools. They promised to look at both short- and long-term funding fixes for public schools in Colorado, along with thinking about the following questions when they sponsor and vote on bills:

  • Is it equitable?
  • Is it adequate?
  • Will the funds for this initiative take away from an existing program serving other students?
  • Is it an unfunded mandate?

Let’s Talk about Advocacy….

  • Advocacy Training – Lunch & Learn
    Monday, February 11, 11:30 – 1:00, Great Ed Office

    • Want to get involved at the Capitol but would like to hear from some experts first?
      Come to a brown bag lunch training where you’ll not only learn the logistics of the Capitol, but you’ll also hear from former legislators about the best way to engage your elected officials! Sign up to lunch and learn here.
  • Senate & House Education Committee Meetings
    Thursdays, beginning at 1:00, Colorado State Capitol

    • ​ Your legislators want to hear from you — and you deserve to be in that building, advocating for your community’s needs! Every Thursday, you can join Great Ed staff at 1pm to attend Senate or House Education Committee meetings. If you’d like to attend with us, email betsy@greateducation.org to coordinate. We’ll meet up beforehand, give you a briefing on the bills being heard, and see legislation in action.
  • Great Ed’s Legislative Action/Lobby Day
    Thursday, March 14!

Legislator Highlight of the Week: Senator Tammy Story

Senator Story is a long-time public education advocate just elected as the new legislator for Senate District 16. Senator Story has been an active advocate in Jeffco public schools, taking a particularly important role in 2015 as Mountain Area Lead in the Jeffco Schools recall campaign of three school board members. With students in Jeffco public schools, she continues to be an active parent, ensuring not only her children but all children in Colorado receive the education they deserve. As a supporter of Great Ed and the efforts put into Amendment 73, we know we have a public education ally in Senator Story. Say a congrats to Senator Story if you see her at the Capitol!

Education Committees

  • Bills we’re monitoring:​
    • HB19-1055 Public School Cap Construction Financial Assistance — This bill would ensure that all of the marijuana excise tax revenue be credited to the assistance fund, and would change the amount that goes to charter schools from a flat rate to a rate proportional to their students.
    • SB19-003 Educator Loan Forgiveness Program — This bill would extend the repeal date of the program that repays up to $5,000 of qualified educational loans for 5 years for teachers and other educators in hard-to-fill positions (based on geography or content area).
    • SB19-039 Interdistrict Transportation of Students — This bill removes an amendment to a past bill whose purpose was to ensure the transportation or reimbursement of parents to transport highly mobile or foster students to their home district. This bill would restore that original intent, removing an amendment added in to require any student to be bussed from one district to another at the expense of the district, as opposed to just those students who are highly mobile.
    • SB19-094 Extend School Finance Interim Committee — This bill would extend the work of the School Finance Interim Committee for one year
  • Have a story, thought or concern around one of the bills above? Want to testify for or against one of these bills (or maybe even one that’s not listed)? Share with us! We want to hear your thoughts before Great Ed takes a stance on any bill. 

 


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