Capitol Updates: Child care tax credit expansion, AP course incentives, and a new idea for funding schools—all this week in Capitol Updates
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.
HB18-1208 (Duran & Winter/Martinez Humenik) Expand Child Care Expenses Credit
This bill expands a refundable state tax credit available to families who pay child care expenses so they can work. Currently, Colorado offers a state tax credit for individuals making $60,000 per year or less that is a portion of the federal tax credit they claim for child care expenses. The size of the credit is dependent on income level. This bill would allow individuals making $150,000 per year or less to claim a credit equal to 80 percent of the amount of the federal credit claimed by the individual. Read more about the bill and why the Children’s Campaign strongly supports it here.
HB18-1193 (Wilson & McLachlan) Extend Advanced Placement Incentives Program
This bill extends the advanced placement incentives pilot program for three years and adds reporting requirements to help gauge the program’s success, including the number of students who enroll in advanced placement courses, those who take AP exams, and those who earn a score of 3 or higher on the exams. Read more about the bill and why the Children’s Campaign supports it here.
HB18-1232 (Young & Coram) New School Funding Distribution Formula
The bill creates a new student-centered public school funding formula to replace our outdated 1994 school finance formula. The proposed formula uses weights to account for student characteristics such as poverty (expanding the current “at-risk” factor to include students eligible for both free and reduced price lunch) and English learner, special education, and gifted and talented status. The new formula would also provide full-day funding for kindergarten students in full-day programs (currently, the state pays for only a half day) and provide half-day pre-K funding for some children served in early childhood programs. The bill takes effect only if voters approve a ballot measure before 2022 that increases funding for preschool through high school public education. Read about the bills next steps and why the Children’s Campaign supports it here.