Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Mill levy equalization: Three words that could dramatically shift Colorado’s school funding system

Not all school districts collect property taxes equally, which has been robbing some Colorado students of fair funding in education, according to advocates who hope to see lawmakers overhaul the state’s school finance system this legislative session. A key component of the overhaul would be establishing a uniform mill levy for schools. This would shift […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Thousands of teachers applied to Colorado’s new educator loan forgiveness program. But only 100 spots are available.

Cañon City Schools social worker Shantell Lynch considers herself lucky that 15 years after she earned her master’s degree, she has only $35,000 in student loans left to pay off. Some of her colleagues are carrying as much as $100,000 in education debt. Still, it’s a heavy weight for Lynch, 51, who became an educator […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

A bill is coming that would change enrollment rules for Colorado charter schools. Could it also deter more from opening?

A lawmaker worried that charter schools aren’t offering kids with disabilities the same opportunities as traditional public schools wants to change the rules. But education advocates say Rep. Shannon Bird’s proposed changes unfairly target charter schools and are trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Through legislation she plans to introduce next week, Bird, […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Could mental health support be the key to keeping more Colorado preschool teachers in the field?

Preschoolers in Emily Byassee’s class at Early Connections Learning Centers frequently erupt in violence. They become upset. They might hit another person, throw a toy or in many cases start screaming. “They have all these big emotions in their tiny little bodies, and if they don’t know what to do with it yet, they just […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Most Colorado public school teachers are white, but almost half of their students are not. Can the state close the gap?

Colorado’s teacher shortage is felt in school districts across the state, but the shortage of minority teachers is particularly severe — to the extent that many students may not have a single teacher of color in elementary, middle or high school. During the last school year, a third of Colorado’s school districts did not have […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Textbook costs can bust college students’ budgets. Colorado professors are turning the page with free resources.

Before Brandon English developed his own learning materials for the organic chemistry classes he teaches at Red Rocks Community College, his students were spending close to $600 for textbooks, in addition to paying tuition and fees. And those costs pushed many of his promising students to drop out. “There’s this huge financial barrier to entry, […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

“I can’t afford to live here”: Colorado teachers plea for wage help, but solutions still prove divisive

Doug Freeman moved back to Colorado last year and began teaching fourth grade at Edith Teter Elementary School in Fairplay, but he’s already eyeing a move out of state. Colorado is his home — he grew up in Littleton — and he doesn’t want to leave. But he might not have much of a choice. […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Most Colorado student teachers aren’t paid and need second jobs. Will lawmakers step in to ease their financial burden?

At one point during the four-and-a-half years Jen Tarwater studied to become a teacher and completed two minors, she juggled four jobs — among them, serving as a student employee at her school’s Hispanic multicultural center and working as an entertainer on the Polar Express with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train. It […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Republicans put education atop their priority list at the Capitol. We look at 8 of their ideas.

A school safety assessment for each district. A bonus for high-rated teachers. A scholarship for students who graduate high school early. And a tax credit for teachers who buy school supplies for their students. The ideas are part of a package of 24 bills put forward by Republican lawmakers on the opening day of the […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado lawmakers hoped to finally change the school funding formula after 25 years. They may have to keep waiting.

An effort to change Colorado’s longtime school funding formula has hit a wall just days before the start of the 2020 legislative session — for now, at least. Legislators on Thursday decided to change course and take more time to pursue tweaks to the Public School Finance Act of 1994 through legislation. Since the end […]