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Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat

Bureau Chief — Chalkbeat Colorado

Colorado districts prepare for CMAS testing amid uncertainty about federal waiver

At least one Colorado district would have to reorganize cohorts into grade-level groups to take the federal assessment. Thousands of students opting for online learning in other districts would have to enter school buildings again.


Colorado lawmakers advance effort to maintain school funding despite enrollment declines

Democrats at the state Capitol said they would maintain school funding in recognition that schools have incurred additional costs to educate students in a pandemic and on the premise that some students who sat out the fall could return to their home district


Colorado lawmaker pushing ahead with effort to suspend state testing despite federal requirement

Bill sponsor Sen. Rachel Zenzinger says the ruling will allow Colorado to customize its waiver request "to show we can provide what they want, which is actionable data to target support to students.”


Colorado school finance bill would spare districts from impact of enrollment declines

The Joint Budget Committee OK'd an education finance bill that send an extra $60 million to districts that saw large enrollment declines or a decrease in the number of students living in poverty. Rural districts will share another $25 million from the new nicotine tax.


Colorado school finance bill would spare districts from impact of enrollment declines

Many school districts were bracing for significant cuts this year

Politics and Government

Access to high-quality Colorado schools varies by ZIP code, report says

Low-income families and those in rural areas are less likely to have a school with high test scores within reasonable driving distance, a report by Ready Colorado says.


Vaccinated Colorado teachers won’t have to quarantine after exposure to COVID-19, governor says

Gov. Jared Polis said he expects the change to give school leaders more “operational flexibility"


Colorado grants $27 million to support career training, literacy programs, Indigenous curriculum

A sliver of federal coronavirus relief money for schools is moved on to programs in 19 districts hit especially hard by the pandemic


Jeffco Public Schools will bring middle and high school students back to classrooms in late January

Around the state, districts that have been remote since November are bringing students back in phases


Colorado to make up to 1 million rapid coronavirus tests available to schools

The BINAXNow tests from Abbott Laboratories can be used at home or at school and provide results within 15 minutes


7 Colorado education stories to watch in 2021

The pandemic’s effects will continue to be felt through much of 2021. Will school districts reopen and stay open? How will we address learning loss?


Colorado lawmakers promise enrollment drop won’t hurt school funding

Colorado school districts reported a 3.3% overall enrollment decline this year, as well as decreases in the number of students eligible for subsidized lunches, a measure of poverty. Both numbers influence school funding.


Roadmap to return Colorado students to school calls for more testing, contact tracing

Administrators think they can keep students, teachers and staff safe. The question, they say, is whether people outside of schools can control coronavirus' spread.


Colorado school outbreaks nearly doubled in November as coronavirus cases surged

A Chalkbeat analysis found that K-12 schools account for 14% of outbreaks but only 5% of cases from outbreaks. Colleges and universities represent only 2% of outbreaks but 16% of cases.


Denver students set to return to classrooms in January

All Denver Public Schools students whose parents want them in school will be in class by Feb. 1


To test or not to test? Colorado educators and advocates divided on CMAS in a pandemic

Federal and state law require standardized tests — in Colorado, that’s CMAS for students in third through eighth grade


“Stretched thin”: Colorado superintendent survey highlights concerns with teacher burnout, learning loss

The findings highlight the problems school districts need to solve this year — and the potentially long-lasting consequences of a year or more of disrupted learning


Rising coronavirus cases prompt Denver to retreat from in-person learning for older elementary students

Less than a week after returning most elementary students to the classroom, Denver Public Schools has decided that students in grades 3 through 5 should learn from home until after the Thanksgiving break


Colorado pediatricians, educators to Gov. Jared Polis: Act now to protect in-person school

“As community spread increases, in-person school will be less and less feasible," wrote members of the Colorado chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics


Colorado’s two main teachers unions launch merger talks

The Colorado Education Association and AFT Colorado announced this week that they are forming an “exploratory unity committee” to look at consolidation

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