April 3, 2015

Dear BVSD Weekly Legislative Update reader:
Monday (April 6) will see an effort by the legislature to consolidate several bills aimed at student assessment reform into one bipartisan piece of legislation. Such a bill would need to be able to pass the Republican-controlled state Senate and the Democratic-controlled state House and have at least tacit support from Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper to become law. 
On another key Colorado K-12 note, Senate Bill 234 is the proposed state budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. On Thursday, April 2, it passed Third and Final Reading in the state Senate by a vote of 21-14. The proposed budget - known in legislative parlance as the "Long Bill" - will now head to the state House of Representatives for review, debate and action. The 2015-16 amendments to the Colorado School Finance Act, which set per pupil funding for the next school year, are due to be introduced soon. 
In its April 2, 2015 online legislative newsletter, BriefCASE, the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) urges public action on addressing both the short and long term needs of school finance reform in our state. Under the heading "Creative Solutions Sought for Solving School Funding Needs," CASE urges the following: 
"As you know, the Colorado superintendents initiated another drive to educate policy makers and the general public on the short- and long-term needs to address school funding (click here for more details). Late last week, several organizations, including CASE, signed onto a Statement of Support to Explore Creative Solutions for K-12 Funding. As it states, K-12 education is the foundation of our society. Arguably, it is the most important priority of the state because it drives citizenship, a sk​illed workforce and economic development. Read the full statement here.

We need your help in engaging your legislators:

2. Contact your legislator by email and/or phone.
3. Share your personal message regarding school funding, such as: 

Dear [Representative/Senator X]

I am writing to you to make sure you are aware of the Superintendents' Position Statement on School Finance signed November 14, 2014 and the Statement of Support to Explore Creative Solutions​ for K-12 Funding signed March 27, 2015 by the Colorado Association of School Executives, Colorado Board of Cooperative Education Services Association, Colorado League of Charter Schools, the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Opportunity Coalition, the Colorado Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and Great Education Colorado. 

Public education is the backbone of our community, and the future of[community/town]’s workforce. Your support for our public schools will help keep[community/town] competitive and successful for years to come. Please email me at[your email] or call me at [your phone number] with any questions about[community/town]’s public school system. 

[Your name] 

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 a April 1 story by reporter Todd Engdahl entitled,​ "Bid to pull testing funds livens up Senate budget debate​." 

Policy Matters
Current update on bills currently supported, opposed and monitored by BVSD.​

2015 BVSD Legislative Platform.pdf2015 BVSD Legislative Platform 
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. School board members Tina Marquis of Boulder and Jennie Belval of Broomfield serve as the seven-member school board’s legislative liaisons. 

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

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