Paying attention to ed bills
Across the Street
Here’s a question for civics students: Does a three-digit bill in the Colorado Legislature denote a Senate or House bill? By the time you finish reading the column you’ll know the answer. In the meantime here are highlights from the last time I “crossed the street.”
This time of year the State Board of Education recommends to support, oppose or monitor specific education bills traveling through the Legislature. One recent bill, SB16-045 (Senate Bill introduced in 2016, #045) has recently come to our attention. It states in summary: “… concerning academic standards for financial literacy …, including knowledge and skills relating to student loan debt and retirement planning.” Would you support, oppose or must monitor this bill? I would first read the entire bill, then refer to existing Colorado law. There is nothing in current law that prevents school districts from adding these topics to their curricula. However, since we are a local control state, school districts, teachers and parents can decide what curriculum is taught in their schools. So I would oppose the bill.
Another bill, HB 1122, also known as “Full-day Kindergarten Funding,” was also introduced. The attached fiscal note is $242 million. With such a large fiscal note and Bob being on the Joint Budget Committee, I will be monitoring this bill.
Last week representatives Rankin and Hamner joined with the House and Senate Education Committees to begin a six-meeting attempt to have a greater understanding of the Future of Education in Colorado. The meetings are open to the public and can be listened to online: http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/cslFrontPages.nsf/Audio?OpenPage.
Click on Year Round Committees, then Joint Budget Committee. The audio starts when the meeting begins.
I attend education committee meetings and will be attending this series. The first meeting in the series was last week. The highlights were: equitably fund students, allocate resources so that every school has a fair share, make money visible on a school level so that schools can be accountable for the dollars and ensure flexibility at the local level.
Some of the three-digit Senate bills and four-digit House Bills are more interesting than others. If they involve education I’m interested. I love my new position.
Joyce Rankin is a member of the State Board of Education. “Across the Street” will appear monthly.
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