Is Colorado’s school ‘vision bill’ going dark?

Scenes from the seat of government on the last day of the state legislative session. denver; denverite; colorado; government; legislation; legislature; capital; kevinjbeaty; politics; policy; senate; senator
Scenes from the seat of government. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

By Nicholas GarciaChalkbeat 

A proposed overhaul of Colorado’s public schools has hit a legislative roadblock.

State Senate leadership has assigned a bill that would create a series of legislative committees to study and propose changes to Colorado’s education laws to the State, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

That legislative panel is known for killing bills leadership opposes.


How the state plans to deal with the struggling Westminster Public Schools

Attorneys for Westminster schools will go before the state Board of Education on Monday to again ask for a higher performance rating.

Teacher Amy Adams walks around her classroom checking on students working independently on math at Flynn Elementary School in Westminster. (Yesenia Robles/Chalkbeat)
Teacher Amy Adams walks around her classroom checking on students working independently on math at Flynn Elementary School in Westminster. (Yesenia Robles/Chalkbeat)

By Yesenia RoblesChalkbeat 

District and state officials have come up with a plan to improve student performance at Westminster Public Schools that gives the district’s unique academic model a chance to take hold and avoids more drastic changes at the state’s disposal.


How Colorado is trying to boost access to quality child care for poor kids

While Colorado policy-makers have made an array of changes to the complicated $86 million subsidy program in recent years there’s a long way to go to ensure poor kids get the same level of care available to upper-income kids.

By Ann SchimkeChalkbeat

When Colorado changed the way it paid child care providers for educating little kids from low-income families — paying high quality providers more than lower-quality ones — there was both elation and frustration.

Deb Hartman, program director at a highly rated center in Las Animas County in southern Colorado, called the new approach “life-changing.” The extra money, she said, helped save infant and toddler classrooms that otherwise would have closed. She was able to give her teachers raises and even buy a coffee-maker for the teacher’s lounge.

But 300 miles north in Larimer County, officials who administer the state’s child care subsidy program for residents weren’t so happy. The new reimbursement rates meant a growing price tag for the program and today, nearly 600 kids on the wait list.


Denver school board strikes back at Trump budget, Betsy DeVos’s school choice vision

The Denver school board on Thursday approved two resolutions jabbing at President Trump’s first proposed education budget and Education Secretary DeVos’s vision of school reform.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. (Photo: Department of Education)
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. (Photo: Department of Education)

By Eric GorskiChalkbeat

Take that, Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos.

The Denver school board on Thursday approved two resolutions jabbing at President Trump’s first proposed education budget and Education Secretary DeVos’s vision of school reform.

Trump’s budget, the resolution says, would slash funding for a range of programs that help Denver students, including after-school programs, financial aid and Medicaid.


Out-of-state donations stand out in Michael Johnston’s first campaign finance report in governor’s race

The list of out-of-state donors includes several supporters of the national education reform movement.

Former State Sen. Michael Johnston announced his gubernatorial campaign. (Nicholas Garcia/Chalkbeat)
Former State Sen. Michael Johnston announced his gubernatorial campaign. (Nicholas Garcia/Chalkbeat)

By Nicholas GarciaChalkbeat

Nearly 70 percent of the money donated to former state Sen. Michael Johnston’s gubernatorial bid in the first quarter of 2017 came from outside Colorado, records show.

The list of out-of-state donors includes several supporters of the national education reform movement.