Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado districts are preparing quickly for full-day kindergarten, potentially increasing costs

By Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado Large Colorado school districts that collectively serve thousands of children in half-day kindergarten programs are preparing to switch to full-day programs this fall, potentially pushing up the cost of Gov. Jared Polis’ signature education initiative. Lawmakers have set aside $185 million — about 80 percent of what Polis requested — to pay […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Will Colorado reform its checkerboard of school taxes? Not this year.

By Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado A proposal that could have allowed Colorado to potentially invest hundreds of millions of dollars more into education by pushing some school districts to raise their taxes fizzled this year after the idea’s chief legislative advocate backed down. “I agonized over this because I truly believe fixing school finance depends […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government, Transportation

Colorado lawmakers reach deal to spend $300 million on transportation. But it’s unclear what will be cut to pay for it.

Democrats and Republicans in the Colorado legislature have reached an agreement to allocate $300 million for transportation in this year’s budget package, but it’s unclear what will be cut in order to make that spending possible. “We’re going to dig through the couch cushions,” said Rep. Daneya Esgar, a Pueblo Democrat and state budget writer […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado teens won’t get to vote in school board elections after all

By Sandra Fish, Chalkbeat Colorado Colorado high school juniors and seniors won’t get to vote in school board elections, after lawmakers expressed concerns over constitutional and transparency issues. The House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted 8-1 Wednesday to postpone House Bill 1243 indefinitely, effectively killing the bill. It would  have allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to vote […]

Posted inColoradans, Culture, Education, News, Politics and Government, Technology

Protecting kids from porn? Assaulting free speech? Library critics take aim at public databases.

It’s a strange time to be a librarian in Colorado. Long accustomed to having their workplaces written off as musty-smelling anachronisms, a growing number of librarians lately find themselves under scrutiny, or attack. Across the state, and beyond, librarians have been accused of purposely peddling online porn to kids. And at the Colorado Capitol this […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

As free full-day kindergarten nears reality in Colorado, advocates press their case

By Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado Jeannie Nelson didn’t have to pay for full-day kindergarten for her two older children because her family was below the Denver school district’s income threshold. But her husband, an EMT, recently got a raise, and now the family is waiting to know if they’ll have to pay for their third […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Should Colorado teens get a vote in school board elections? These legislators think so

By Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado A coalition of youth advocates is pushing Colorado to allow most high school juniors and seniors to vote in school board elections. “Students are experts in their own education,” said Tezcatli Diaz, director of youth civic engagement for Student Voice, Student Vote, one of the groups calling for the change. […]

Posted inBusiness, Crime and Courts, Education, Energy, Health, Politics and Government, Transportation

What the $30.5 billion Colorado state budget means for you — yes, you

The $30.5 billion state-budget package introduced Monday offers a little something for most everyone in Colorado. The state would pay for full-day kindergarten, relieving local school districts and parents of the cost. The price tag for tuition would remain flat, except at one university. All state employees would receive at least a 3 percent raise, […]

Posted inCulture, Education, Outdoors

To help students improve inside the classroom, Manitou Springs Middle School is taking them outside

MANITOU SPRINGS — On a brisk winter day in Manitou Springs, a group of sixth-graders romp around the Flying Pig Farm. Pikes Peak, dusted with snow, demands at least a glance, but the kids are interested in something smaller. “I want to feed the goats!” three students announce in near unison. Barak Ben-Amots, a Manitou […]

Posted inEducation, News

To boost student attendance and well-being, more Colorado schools ask: “Need help with laundry?”

By Anne Schimke, Chalkbeat Colorado Smiling shyly, 9-year-old Morgan Pohl tossed a heap of clothes into the washer and carefully added detergent to the top of the machine. She hit the start button and headed off to lunch in the next room — the cafeteria at Doull Elementary School in southwest Denver. Doing laundry at […]