May 6, 2016

Four days left until adjournment: School finance act amendments still in Senate, charter bills in House Education Committee

The calendar indicates six 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 four legislative working days left.

The 2016-17 amendment to the Colorado School Finance Act (HB 1422) is on the Senate floor now. The highlighted Chalkbeat Colorado article below explains what happened last night (5/5) when unexpected amendments were attempted that would have set state requirements for local school district revenue sharing with charter schools were proposed for HB 1422. The effort failed. 

House Bill 1423 concerning student data privacy unanimously passed the Senate. The House concurred with the HB 1423 Senate amendments and re-passed the bill. It will be on Governor John Hickenlooper's desk for action soon. All indications are that he will sign it into law. 

House Bills 1420 and 1450, both focused on moving the Hospital Provider Fee from state government's general fund to an enterprise fund, passed the House and are now in the Senate where their future is uncertain.

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. Both bills have passed the Senate and are awaiting action in the House where opposition is stron​ger. 

This session, as reported last week, appears headed to a photo finish. Stay tuned. The final 2016 BVSD update will be next week.​

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 May 6, 2016 article by Todd Engdahl titled "Lawmakers rebuke party leaders, reject charter school funding compromise in Senate​​."​

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Policy Matters, LLC BVSD Bill Tracker
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 briggs.gamblin@bvsd.org​.​​​​​​