April 29, 2016

A dozen days left and PK-12 issues still unresolved

The calendar indicates 12 days left until the Colorado General Assembly must adjourn on May 11. However, unless legislative leadership calls for a weekend session - always possible - there are really only eight legislative working days left.

Key bills from BVSD's perspective still to have action completed are the 2016-17 amendments to the Colorado School Finance Act, HB 1423 concerning student data privacy and House Bills 1420 and 1450, which are both focused on moving the Hospital Provider Fee from state government's general fund to an enterprise fund thereby eliminating it's revenues from TABOR revenue cap calculations in the future.

Also still in play are two bills BVSD opposes as an unwarranted state intrusion upon local school district authority in the governance of charter schools. Senate Bill 187 seeks to override locally elected school boards' management of their charter school relationships by giving greater oversight to the appointed State Charter Institute. Senate Bill 188 would have the state dictate the distribution of local, voter-approved mill levy revenue. On April 26, at its regular board meeting, the BVSD Board of Education unanimously voted for a resolution to formally oppose both SB 187 and SB 188. In addition, another charter governance bill was introduced April 29 by the sponsors SB 187 and 188. This new bill - SB 208 - is being reviewed now by BVSD.

This session, like most sessions, appears headed to a photo finish. Stay tuned.

ChalkbeatCOLORADO​ covers PK-20 education issues throughout Colorado including one of the most in-depth and accurate PK-12 daily news to be found anywhere during the session. This week, BVSD Communications draws your particular attention to an April 29, 2016 article by Eric Gorski titled "How Colorado districts comply with state law speaks volumes about their views on testing."

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During each regular session (January - May) of the Colorado General Assembly, the Boulder Valley School District is represented on a day-to-day basis by Tanya Kelly-Bowry and Ernestine Mondragon of the firm Policy Matters, LLC. They regularly communicate with BVSD Superintendent Bruce Messinger and Director of Communications & Legislative Policy Briggs Gamblin. This is a link to an online bill tracking system for legislation being monitored by our district.

Each year the Boulder Valley Board of Education approves a legislative platform that sets the district’s legislative priorities and guides the BVSD contract lobbying firm, Policy Matters, LLC, led by veteran lobbyists Tanya Kelly-Bowry and Ernestine Mondragon. BVSD’s effort is overseen by Superintendent Bruce Messinger and Communications and Legislative Policy Director Briggs Gamblin. 

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Understanding Colorado School Finance
Colorado supporters of PK-12 public education have found nonprofit Great Education Colorado to be a valuable resource both for important factual information concerning state funding of Colorado public schools and advocacy opportunities if interested. For the BVSD Weekly Legislative Bulletin's purposes, our focus will be setting context especially for those readers not yet familiar with the factors involved in Colorado state government's complex funding of public education across the state's 178 school districts. Colorado PK-12 Public Education Funding - Frequently Asked Questions. 

A list of legislators whose districts are wholly or partially within the boundaries of BVSD. ​

View the Legislative Update homepage for access to past issues. If you have any comments or questions, please contact me at​.​​​​​​