Capitol Update: Child care contribution bill passes final legislative hurdle, school finance bill invests in early childhood and K12 classrooms; special districts for early childhood moves in Senate
Each week during sessions of the Colorado General Assembly, we bring you the latest news and analysis of legislation impacting the early development, health, and education of Colorado kids. The highlights of action this week are below, and see our website for more analysis, testimony, fact sheets, vote totals, and other information to help you stay informed. Here are a few highlights from this week:
SB18-013 (Fields & Gardner/Michaelson Jenet) Improving Access to Affordable School Lunch
This bill would eliminate the reduced-price lunch copay and expand access to school lunches at no charge for students who would otherwise be eligible for reduced-price lunch, to include students in sixth through eighth grade. Colorado has already eliminated this copay for students in preschool through fifth grade. Read more about the bill, why the Children’s Campaign strongly supports it, and its passage out of the Senate here.
HB18-1379 (Pettersen & Wilson/Hill) Public School Finance
This bill sets the statewide base per pupil funding amount for the 2018-19 budget year at $6,768.77, which represents an inflationary increase of 3.3 percent. The bill also reduces the budget stabilization factor by $150 million and distributes an additional $30 million to large and small rural districts. The bill adds 1,000 ECARE slots that may be used for preschool or full day kindergarten in the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP). Read more about the bill, why the Children’s Campaign supports it, and its next steps in the Senate here.
HB18-1420 (Hamner/Rankin) Early Childhood Development Special District
This bill authorizes local communities to create special districts for the purpose of delivering early childhood development services for children from birth through eight years of age. Early childhood development services include early care and educational, health, mental health, and developmental services, including prevention and intervention. Title 32 in state statute currently enables the creation of special districts to fund and deliver a variety of services, including parks and recreation, forest improvement, and fire protection. There are more than 2,000 special districts in Colorado today. Read more about this bill and its outcome in the Senate here.