During the 2015 legislative session, Colorado’s leaders made strides in passing innovative education policies to help students prepare for the 21st century economy. We commend Governor John Hickenlooper, Senator Beth Martinez Humenik, Senator Michael Johnston, Representative Alec Garnett and Representative Bob Rankin for their leadership and support of education reform in Colorado.
COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS
Colorado is working to raise the level of college and career readiness that high school graduates achieve. Signed by Governor Hickenlooper in May, HB 1170 creates a Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Statewide Coordinator who will collaborate with businesses, education providers and other entities to raise the level of college and career readiness in high school and to prepare students for skilled career positions in business and industry.
PAY FOR SUCCESS
The Colorado Legislature passed, and Governor Hickenlooper signed into law, Pay for Success Contracts legislation (HB 1317). This provides new funding mechanisms to leverage public and private funding to support programs with a track record of successfully increasing student achievement and improving education outcomes for Colorado families. Pay for Success programs are an emerging innovation that use performance-based contracting where the government agency only pays providers if results are achieved based on measurable outcomes.
During this year’s session, the Colorado Legislature considered SB 45, which would have increased school choice in the state. The bill would have allowed taxpayers to receive a credit for enrolling their eligible child in private school. Eligibility for qualification would have been determined by the State Board of Education. Additionally, the bill would have allowed parents with children enrolled in public school to receive a tax credit for homeschooling their children. SB 45 passed the Senate, but the bill did not make it out of the House of Representatives.