2018 State Board Legislative Initiatives
During the 2018 Legislative Session, the State Board of Education took a proactive approach to three areas of policy. In each case, we acted with a bi-partisan focus and engaged in a substantive feedback process with stakeholders.
School and District Accountability
HB18-1355 Public Education Accountability
makes adjustments to Colorado’s school and
district accountability law to ensure that all students
receive a high-quality education that prepares them
for college, career and life, and to ensure that
school districts have the needed support and
oversight to achieve that goal. The bill passed the
House by a vote of 64-1 and the Senate by a vote
The READ Act
HB18-1393 strengthens the Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act by improving implementation, emphasizing resources for teacher supports and professional development, and establishing a process for improving the functionality of individualized READ plans. Additionally, we helped to secure an additional $1 million in funding for the literacy grant program component of the READ Act. The bill passed the House on a vote of 34-21 and the Senate on a vote of 32-2.
Computer Science Literacy
As part of the budget bill, also known as the Long Bill or HB18-1322, we were successful in adding $500,000 to an existing Computer Science grant program. The funding will be used to train elementary school teachers across the state in how to teach computer science. The critical vote was when the legislature's Joint Budget Committee (JBC) voted 6-0 to include these dollars in the Long Bill.
2018 State Board Positions on Legislation
During the 2018 legislative session, the State Board took a position on sixteen pieces of legislation.
The State Board supported twelve bills. All of the twelve bills passed:
HB18-1070 Additional Public School Capital Construction Funding was supported by the Board on a 6-0 vote. In its final form, the bill specifies that the greater of forty million or ninety percent of excise taxes on retail marijuana be deposited into the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund for spending by the BEST program. The bill also transferred $34 million of surplus funds in the fund to the BEST program with $19 million to be used for lease payments and $15 million to be used for cash grants.
HB18-1095 Educator License Requirements for Military Spouses was supported by the Board on a 7-0 vote,.Under current law, individuals entering Colorado wishing to obtain an educator license are required to demonstrate three consecutive years of experience. Under the terms of HB18-1095 military spouses may now demonstrate three years of experience within the last seven years instead of consecutively.
HB18-1100 Continuous spending authority for the Educator Licensure Cash Fund was supported by the Board on a 7-0 vote. The bill grants spending authority for three years.
HB18-1130 School District Authorized Instructors was supported by the Board in its amended form on a 6-0 vote. The bill allows all applicants (in addition to military spouses per HB18-1095) to demonstrate three years of experience within the last seven years instead of consecutively.
HB18-1193 Extend Advanced Placement Incentives Program was supported by the Board 6-0. The bill extends the current advanced placement incentives pilot program which operates in rural school districts until 2021.
HB18-1269 Parent Notice for Student Safety and
Protection was supported by the Board on a vote of 4-2.
The bill creates notification requirements for school
districts to parents when employees are charged with certain felony crimes.
HB18-1355, supported by the Board unanimously, is the Board’s Accountability bill described above.
HB18-1393 Effective Implementation Of Colorado Reading To Ensure Academic Development Act was supported by the Board unanimously. This is the Board’s READ Act bill described above.
SB18-011 Students Excused from Taking State Assessments was supported by the Board 6-1. The bill requires that when rewarding students for participation in statewide tests, students whose parents excused them from the test be allowed to participate. We amended the bill to remove language requiring the Department to monitor infractions and impose penalties.
SB-18-012 Military Enlistment School Performance Indicator was supported by the Board unanimously. The bill requires CDE to treat military enlistment, when the data becomes available, similar to college enrollment in terms of the postsecondary and workforce readiness performance indicator for accreditation.
SB18-160 Charter School Induction and Alternative Licensure Program was supported by the Board unanimously. The bill clarifies that charter schools and the state Charter School Institute may operate induction programs for teachers and other education professionals.
SB18-225 Definition of Early College High Schools was supported by the Board on a 4-2 vote. The bill amends the current definition of “early college” to specify that an early college must provide a curriculum designed to be completed within four years and result in an Associate’s Degree or sixty hours of college credit. The State Board is directed to review all existing early colleges to determine if they meet the new definition.
The State Board opposed four bills. Three of the four bills died:
HB18-1222 Systematic Review Of Education Programs was opposed unanimously by the Board. The bill would have established a process to systematically review all statutory K12 programs. The bill failed on a vote of 12-0 during its first hearing in the House Education Committee.
SB18-008 Reward Access to Arts Education in Public Schools was opposed by the Board 6-1. The bill would have added access only (no results) to arts courses as a factor in the school and district accountability frameworks.
SJR18-001 Repeal of the State Board of Education was opposed by the Board unanimously. The bill sponsor withdrew the bill prior to its first committee hearing. The bill would have submitted a measure to the voters to repeal the State Board.
HB18-1286 School Nurse Give Medical Marijuana at School was opposed by the Board on a vote of 6-1. The bill passed, but was amended into a substantially weaker form relative to introduction, to address some of the Board's concerns. As adopted, non-smokable medical marijuana may be administered by school personnel. To do so, the principal and parent must agree to a plan. No one at the school is required to administer. The State Board is given rulemaking authority around the documentation that must be provided by parents.
Finally, while the Board did not take a position on HB18-1052 Exception to 2-Year Higher Education Service Areas, we did successfully obtain an amendment to ensure that school districts will be able to continue to negotiate with individual higher education providers regarding the tuition to be paid within concurrent enrollment programs.