This week at the Capitol…Governor’s revised budget, Education Committees and more!
This week was another big week at the Capitol: Governor Polis made public his revised budget recommendations, the Education Leadership Council presented its findings, and both Senate and House Education Committees are in full swing.
The Governor’s Revised Budget Proposal
The Governor presented his proposed budget revisions to the Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday afternoon, including:
- A request for $252.7 million to fund and implement full-day Kindergarten; this would also open up about 5,000 preschool slots across the state and would not be mandated — preschool and kindergarten would remain optional
- An additional .05/student funding component would be added as a one-time incentive for schools in the first year of free full-day kindergarten (to be used for funding the implementation, e.g. tablets, desks, etc.)
- A request for an additional $13 million for an additional 3,000 CPP slots (preschool access)
- Additional Budget Components: a request to fund higher education at $121 million to keep tuition flat, $10 million towards a continuation of the Education Leadership Council (ELCH), and $6.5 for teacher loan forgiveness and incentives
- The Governor maintains Hickenlooper’s requested $77 million buy down of the Budget Stabilization factor.
- You can find the Governor’s full budget proposal linked here.
House Education Committee
- HB19-1008 Career and Technical Education in Building Excellent Schools Today Program (with an amendment including an agriculture component) & HB19-1059 Remove Redundant Language in Educator Licensing and HB19-1002 Leadership Professional Development for School Principals all passed through House Ed this week.
Senate Education Committee
- SB19-039 Interdistrict Transportation of Students passed along party lines while SB19-022 Bonuses for Highly Effective Teachers did not pass through the committee.
Joint Education Committee: The Education Leadership Council Report
- This week, the Joint Education Committee (which will meet every Wednesday morning during the session at 7:30am) heard the report from the Education Leadership Council (ELC). Members presented what they found were main drivers of change and principles in our education system moving forward as:
- Responsive systems that produce agile learners
- Robust community and family partnerships to ensure all students are ready to learn
- Well-supported teachers and leaders
- Cross-sector partnerships to support student learning and transitions
- The ELC will continue meeting, with their key focus areas being:
- Internal capacity building
What’s Coming Up?
- Bills we are currently monitoring:
- Great Ed will be hosting a brown-bag lunch training on February 11 — Advocacy at the Capitol: How to Testify on a Bill. Sign up here to attend!
Legislator Highlight of the Week: Representative Shannon Bird
Our legislator highlight of the week is Representative Shannon Bird from House District 35. We have another Great Ed advocate at the Capitol! Representative Bird has long been a supporter of public schools, fighting for increased funding for the Adams 12 Five Star School District as well as advocating at the State Capitol for fair and equitable school funding before deciding to run for office. Please give Representative Bird a warm welcome if you see her in the Capitol!
**Date change** for the Great Ed Lobby Day: we will be moving our Lobby Day at the Capitol to Thursday, March 14 due to schedule changes in the legislature. Don’t forget to sign up here!