Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado lawmakers seek overhaul for troubled $231 million program meant to help kids catch up on reading

State lawmakers on Monday introduced bipartisan legislation that would overhaul a statewide program that has failed to improve the reading deficiencies of young students despite costing the state more than $231 million over the past five years. Senate Bill 199 would add significant state oversight into how schools throughout Colorado teach kindergarten through third grade […]

Posted inEducation, Health, News, Politics and Government

5,800 Colorado kids in second grade or younger were suspended last year. State lawmakers want to reduce that.

A deal that gives school administrators control over the number of days preschool and young elementary students can be suspended from school has increased the odds for a new law that will make suspensions and expulsions rarer in Colorado. For several years, a broad coalition of civil rights groups, early childhood advocates and mental health […]

Posted inEducation, Politics and Government

Worried about slowing economy, Democrats look to delay Polis pledge for full-day kindergarten

A slowing economy coupled with a backlog of unmet needs have left top Democratic lawmakers hesitant to fully fund all-day kindergarten, setting the stage for a possible budget fight with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis over one of his signature campaign promises. The disconnect between Polis and legislative Democrats reflects the difficulty of adding public programs […]

Posted inEducation, News

Teachers living in campers: How rural Colorado districts are coping with growing teacher shortage

Steve Wilson has spent 35 years in education in rural Colorado, the past 14 as superintendent of the Big Sandy School District that stretches across ranchland in Elbert and El Paso counties. In his second year as superintendent there, four teachers retired, wiping out more than 132 years of experience. Back then, the vacancies posed […]

Posted inEducation, Politics and Government, Transportation

Democratic lawmakers want to ask voters in 2019 to end TABOR cap, but Polis is not so sure

Top Democratic lawmakers want to ask Colorado voters this November to permanently set aside the spending cap in the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. House Speaker KC Becker is drafting a measure to put a question on the 2019 ballot that would allow the state to keep as much as $960 million in projected revenues […]

Posted inEducation, News

Denver Public Schools begins cutting 150-plus central office positions to pay for teacher raises

By Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado Denver Public Schools began the process this week of cutting more than 150 administrative positions from its central office, which will free up $17 million for raises for teachers and other district employees, as well as additional money for special education services. The Denver district has far more administrators than others in […]

Posted inBusiness, Education, News, Technology

Computer science isn’t required in Colorado schools. But enough people think it should be that the state is training teachers for free.

Which is heavier — a parrot or a barrel full of rum? How about a pirate flag, or a compass or a pirate’s spyglass? Now, sort it all out by thinking like a computer. That was the query asked of five elementary school teachers holding up cards of pirate-themed images and posing as third and […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado pits big colleges against small campuses in a “zero-sum game.” Gov. Polis wants a truce.

Teacher protests and a push for full-day kindergarten are dominating the education debate in Colorado, but policymakers are quietly working to address the state’s other school crisis: higher education. The problem is significant. Colorado is effectively trying to sustain one of the most educationally demanding economies in the country, while spending the fourth least of […]

Posted inEducation, News

Activists want to “flip” the Denver Public Schools board after the teachers’ strike. But the meaning is complicated

By Melanie Asmar, Chalkbeat Colorado The Denver teacher strike was, at its core, a fight for higher pay. But it was also a backlash against controversial school district policies, ballooning bureaucracy, and a sense that the powers-that-be weren’t listening to teachers. Amid all of that, a battle cry that originated with black education activists in […]

Posted inEducation, Politics and Government

Colorado’s universities are catering to out-of-state students. Is their public mission at risk?

Colorado’s flagship public university is within reach of a controversial milestone: the majority of its student body could soon come from out of state. The University of Colorado’s Boulder campus has trended that direction for years — the result of radically changing its business model to make up for two decades of state budget cuts. […]