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.
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.
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.
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.