2022 Legislative Session

Date Posted: December 2, 2021

Intro

The Colorado Children’s Campaign serves as the leading voice for kids and families at the state capitol and in communities across the state. For almost four decades, we’ve worked with policymakers across various political perspectives to ensure every chance for every child. Children’s issues aren’t partisan, and our work proves we are all capable of systemic solutions when we work together.

Read our Equity Guidelines

 Priorities

Child Health Priorities

  • Family & Child Health Coverage Improvements: Health insurance coverage during pregnancy and childhood can help reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve long-term educational outcomes. Expanding health insurance coverage is a growing priority for immigrant communities across the state. Colorado has an opportunity to expand comprehensive health insurance coverage to undocumented pregnant and postpartum people and children and to protect undocumented Coloradans from high-cost sharing in private plans. Doing so would draw down millions in federal funds and allow us to improve the health care system for all Colorado families.
  • Behavioral & Social-Emotional Well-Being: The School Health Professional Grant Program provides funding for schools to increase the number of health professionals and support the behavioral health of all students. However, every year, the Colorado Department of Education receives more requests for funding than it can fulfill. Increased funding would allow CDE to approve additional applications, allowing more schools and districts to provide behavioral health supports for students. Additionally, the state should support comprehensive suicide prevention strategies for students.

K-12 Education Priorities

  • Equitable & Student-Centered Funding for Schools: Modernizing and improving how our schools and students are resourced is the first and most fundamental step to removing structural barriers to opportunity and improving student outcomes. Colorado has an opportunity to update the way we define and provide adequate resources to students experiencing economic disadvantage. In addition, the state can play a role in supporting low property wealth districts that struggle to raise revenue via mill levy overrides – a growing source of funding inequity between districts.
  • Supportive School Climates: Schools are centers for academic development and well-being. Research indicates that students are better able to learn when they feel safe and supported by peers and adults. The term “school climate” encompasses essential indicators of student and staff health, safety, and achievement that can be better defined and measured. Additionally, policies and devoted resources can ensure that every student learns in a positive, safe, and inclusive environment.

Early Childhood Priorities

  • Unified Early Childhood System & Universal Pre-K Implementation: Building on the successes of Proposition EE and House Bill 21-1304 which called for a robust, community-informed transition process to establish a new state agency focused on early childhood, Colorado is ready to consolidate its various early childhood programs currently scattered across state agencies into the new Colorado Department of Early Childhood. In addition, Colorado will establish a single, voluntary universal preschool program that will ease the burdens currently placed on both parents and providers, and uplift parent choice of provider through a robust mixed-delivery system.
  • Educator Tax Credit for Recruitment, Retention, & Compensation: Colorado’s recovery from the pandemic and economic downturn hinges on ensuring parents can return to work. Access to child care is a necessary work support and child development investment, but disruptions in care arrangements harm workforce participation, especially among women and people of color. Many providers are struggling to keep their doors open and, sadly, many have closed their doors permanently at a time when access to child care is more important than ever. Funding Colorado’s Early Childhood Educator Tax Credit encourages early childhood professionals to improve their skills as educators, improves compensation of the early childhood workforce, and increases access to child care for families.