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Ann Schimke

Senior reporter — Chalkbeat Colorado.

Colorado is about to get $41 million for early childhood. Here’s where the money could go.

One thing everyone agrees on is that $41 million, no matter how it’s divvied up, won’t get the job done


She closed her Colorado child care center because of coronavirus. Now, she’s wondering if she’ll ever reopen.

Bill Jaeger, vice president of early childhood and policy initiatives at the Colorado Children’s Campaign, said he’s concerned the industry — where providers already operate on the thinnest of margins — could collapse


Colorado expands emergency child care coverage to include grocery, construction workers

The announcement came after two groups representing grocery and food processing workers urged Gov. Jared Polis and other state officials to give such workers the same kinds of protections available to frontline health workers


Colorado medical workers are getting free childcare. Should grocery store and food processing employees get the same benefit?

Minnesota and Vermont have already made free child care available to grocery store workers


Some Colorado child care centers followed districts in closing. Now the state wants them to stay open.

Several Denver providers said they had thought carefully about whether or not to close, consulting health care professionals, their partners in local school districts, and infectious disease protocols.


Colorado teachers plan to rally at the Capitol again this year — and at least one district will cancel classes

The 84,000-student Jeffco district made the announcement Wednesday, saying the number of expected teacher absences had exceeded the number that could be covered by substitutes


Colorado State Board calls for tougher rules teacher training rules on reading instruction

The new rules will govern the rollout of legislation that updates a major 2012 law — the READ Act — requiring districts to help struggling readers in the early grades


Colorado wants to ensure teachers know how to teach reading. But some say proposed rules lack teeth and transparency.

Critics say that kind of case-by-case internal review leaves the public in the dark about what gets the state’s stamp of approval and what doesn’t


What happened to free? Colorado Gov. Polis has changed how he talks about preschool

There are big challenges to paying for preschool in Colorado, a state that does not fully fund its K-12 education system and only this year started paying for full-day kindergarten


Most Colorado teacher prep programs don’t teach reading well, report says. University leaders don’t buy it.

While many higher education leaders discount the report as an unreliable gauge of whether teacher prep programs adequately train teachers on reading instruction, there’s no debate that far too many children struggle with reading


Could a new nicotine tax pay for free preschool in Colorado? Advocates want to ask voters in November.

New taxes on a pack of cigarettes or vaping products would range from $1.20 to $2.60, depending on which version of the ballot proposal is selected. Currently, taxes are 84 cents a pack, among the lowest in the country.


Colorado early childhood efforts could get a major boost from federal grant

The new money will come from the federal Preschool Development Birth through Five grant program, which was established under the 2015 federal education law


Colorado has spent hundreds of millions to help kids read. Now, it will spend up to $5.2 million to find out why it hasn’t worked.

A state law passed last spring mandated the external evaluation and other steps intended to improve the 2012 law, known as the READ Act


High school can be rough. These Colorado teens are making it easier for their peers to get help.

In a state with an alarming youth suicide rate and a persistent hunger for prevention strategies, the vouchers represent a student-driven effort to broaden access to mental health services


“Keep the story going”: How community volunteers nudge Colorado elementary students to take on racism

Run by YWCA Boulder County, the idea is to use storytelling to raise awareness about racism and discrimination, and encourage students to do something about it


How a Colorado public school for students with dyslexia is changing the game for struggling readers — and the state conversation on reading

ALLIES, now in its third year, is ascending at a time when lawmakers and education leaders are raising big questions about why so many Colorado children can’t read well

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