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Legislative Priorities
Legislative Committee
2015 Legislation
2015 Legislation

January 7th marked the beginning of the 2015 legislative session. Below is a bill report outlining the status of each bill introduced during the second regular session of the 70th convention of the Colorado General Assembly. Highlighted cells indicate changes from the previous day's bill report.

April 27, 2015 Bill Report Legal Size 

April 27, 2015 Bill Report Letter Size  

April 27, 2015 Bill Report Excel Spreasheet


2014 Legislative Digest from Colorado Consulting 


Here are a few items of interest for this session of the General Assembly:

How a Colorado Bill Becomes a Law

Letter to GA from Superintendents

Summary of Student Success Act 


Here are some links to useful information regarding school finance:

Explanation of School Finance 

Timeline of School Finance and Recent Major Reforms





For more information, please visit the Colorado General Assembly's website or Education News' website.

Weekly News

A PDF copy of the Weekly News can be downloaded here.


K–12 Legislative Narrative

April 20–24, 2015


Weekly Overview

The coming week is the last full week of the 2015 legislative session, and eight working days remain until adjournment on May 6. Both chambers have made significant progress in recent weeks on this session’s most notable education bills, including SB15-257 and HB15-1323, the two high-profile assessment bills; SB15-267, the School Finance Act; and several education-related bills in the workforce development package. The House narrowly defeated an amendment to eliminate the 9th grade testing included in HB15-1323, and, given the division on testing details, conference committees are likely for the two testing measures. It is anticipated that the legislature won’t take their final votes on the bills until next week.


On Monday, April 20, the House Education Committee killed four bills that required drastic changes to the state’s assessment system and academic standards. The House Education Committee also gave final approval to SB15-173 School District Data Privacy and Transparency after three days of hearings on the measure. Additionally, the joint Legislative Council Committee failed to approve SB15-233, which required the state withdraw from PARCC and the Common Core Standards and develop a new set of academic standards. At that same meeting, the Legislative Council voted to approve the 2015–2016 interim committees, including the School Safety and Youth in Crisis Task Force created by SB15-214. 


Colorado Department of Education

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and State Board were also in the spotlight this week. CDE Commissioner Robert Hammond has announced he is retiring and will step down on July 1. Further, on Friday, CDE released a letter from the US Department of Education (USDoE) regarding a variety of waiver requests submitted earlier this year. Notably, the USDoE has denied Colorado’s request to be held harmless for the high rates of parent-opt outs for standardized assessments. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan has threatened sanctions for states that fall below the 95 percent testing participation rate and has remarked that the federal government may be forced to ‘intervene’ in states that fail to mitigate the opt-outs. Colorado did not meet the 95 percent participation rate for the fall 2014 administration of the CMAS tests. This battle of states’ rights and federal oversight authority is important, as the House will soon consider SB15-223, the measure that holds teachers, schools, and districts harmless for assessment opt outs. Governor John Hickenlooper has stated that he is considering vetoing SB15-233.


School Finance Update

On Friday, April 24, the Senate gave final approval, by a vote of 21-14, to SB15-267, the School Finance Act. Amendments to provide an additional $200 million from the State Education Fund and to dedicate $5 million to at-risk students were both defeated. An additional amendment proposed by Joint Budget Committee (JBC) member, Senator Pat Steadman (D, Denver), to eliminate the Minimum State Aid provision in school finance failed by a party-line vote. 


SB15-267 will be heard in the House Education Committee this Monday, April 27. House sponsor Millie Hamner (D, Summit County) will introduce an amendment to the bill’s legislative declaration requesting that any unanticipated increases in local revenues result in additional supplemental funding to K–12. Furthermore, consistent with a request from the majority of Superintendents across Colorado, Rep. Hamner also plans to propose an amendment allocating $5 million of funding in the bill to at-risk students.  


Hearings this Week


Colorado Works Bill Package – Workforce Development in Education

HB15-1170 Increasing Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (Sens. Heath and Hill)

-          Status: Senate Education Referred Unamended to Appropriations (04/23/2015)

HB15-1275 Career and Technical Education in Concurrent Enrollment (Sens. Heath and Marble) 

-          Status: Senate Education Referred Amended to Appropriations (04/23/2015)

HB15-1274 Creation of Career Pathways for Students (Sens. Kerr and Woods) 

-          Status: Senate Education Referred Amended to Appropriations (04/23/2015)


Upcoming Legislative Hearing Schedule

April 27–May 1, 2015


-          Monday, April 27

o   House Education, 1:30 p.m., Old Supreme Court Chamber

§  HB15-1369 Define Tuition Status Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (Reps. Pettersen and Esgar)

§  SB15-267 School Finance Act (Rep. Hamner)

§  SB15-223 Remove Penalty When Parent Opts Child Out of Test (Reps. Lebsock and Ransom)

§  SB15-045 Tax Credits for Nonpublic Education (Rep. Ransom)

o   Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs, 1:30 p.m., SCR356

§  SCR15-002 Ballot Procedure Citizen-Initiated Amendments (Sens. Roberts and Steadman)

-          Tuesday, April 28

o   Senate Appropriations, 8:00 a.m., SCR356

§  SB15-056 Frequency of Statewide Social Studies Testing (Sen. Kerr)

§  HB15-1274 Creation of Career Pathways For Students (Sens. Kerr and Woods)

§  HB15-1170 Increasing Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (Sens. Heath and Hill)

§  HB15-1275 Career and Technical Education in Concurrent Enrollment (Sens. Heath and Marble)

o   Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs, Upon Adjournment, SCR353

§  SB15-273 Mail Ballot Opt Out (Sens. Lundberg and Woods)

§  HB15-1088 Interagency Farm-to-School Grant Program (Sen. Crowder)

-          Wednesday, April 29

o   House Education, Upon Adjournment, HCR0112

§  HB15-1349 Colorado Grow Your Own Teacher Initiative (Rep. Fields)

§  SB15-184 No Detention for Failure to Attend School (Rep. Fields)

o   House Finance, 1:30 p.m., LSB-A

§  HB15-1109 Additional SB09-228 Transfers to HUTF and Capital Construction (Rep. DelGrosso)

o   Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs, 1:30 p.m., SCR356

§  HB15-1317 Pay For Success Contracts (Sens. Johnston and Martinez Humenik)

§  HB15-1326 Student Not Affected by District Accreditation Status (Sen. Garcia)

§  HB15-1165 Schools' Use of American Indian Mascots (Sen. Ulibarri)

-          Thursday, April 30

o   Senate Education, 1:30 p.m., SCR356

§  HB15-1001 Early Childhood Educator Development Scholarships (Sen. Todd)

§  SB15-215 Changes to Assessments in Public Schools (Sens. Hill and Kerr)


Listen Live to Hearings

* Live stream legislative hearings - http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/cslFrontPages.nsf/Audio?OpenPage


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