Capitol Update: Read our testimony on preschool access and educator loan forgiveness
This week we welcomed Colorado legislators and their staff for our annual Lunch and Learn series. We shared opportunities policymakers have this year to improve the lives of Colorado kids.
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. Three 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:
HB18-1134 (Pettersen & Wilson/Merrifield & Martinez Humenik) Use of Colorado Preschool Program Position
With limited resources to support access to full-day kindergarten, this bill ensures that early learning slots allocated to school districts are focused on children with demonstrated challenges that put them at risk of not being school-ready. This bill requires that children who receive funding through the Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE) program meet the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) eligibility requirements whether the funding goes to support preschool or full-day kindergarten access. Bill Jaeger, Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives, testified in support of the bill in committee this week. Learn more about the bill and its bipartisan passage out of its first committee.
HB18-1045 (Singer/Tate) Dental Hygienist Apply Silver Diamine Fluoride
This bill allows dental hygienists to apply sliver diamine fluoride under supervision of a dentist if certain conditions are met, including that the dental hygienist holds a license in good standing and has completed training on silver diamine fluoride. The supervision can be direct, indirect or via telehealth. Read more about the bill and why the Children’s Campaign supports it here.
SB18-147 (Coram & Zenzinger/Rankin & McLachlan) Educator Loan Forgiveness Program
The bill renames the “Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program” the “Educator Loan Forgiveness Program.” It would repay up to $5,000 of education loans for up to five years for 100 teachers and other educators that qualify through the program and that are employed in hard-to-fill positions. The bill died in Senate Finance Committee on a vote of 2-3. Leslie Colwell, Vice President of Education Initiatives, testified in support of the bill. Read more about the bill and its failure to pass here
CCCAP Supplemental Budget Request
The Joint Budget Committee (JBC) voted to approve a supplemental funding request of $7.25 million for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP), as recommended by JBC staff, to mitigate CCCAP waitlists. Read more about the supplemental funding here.