With the 2023 legislative session at its halfway point, I’m reflecting on some of the key education issues arising and looking to the future for what we hope to accomplish in the remainder of the session.
In particular, we are pleased to take a stand on critical bills addressing career-connected learning opportunities, transportation, teacher apprenticeships, and workforce, key topics in our policy agenda for the year.
Career Development Incentive Program
Established in 2016, the Career Development Incentive Program (CDIP) incentivizes school districts and charter schools to provide industry-recognized certificate programs, internships, and pre-apprenticeship programs aligned with in-demand industries.
Demand for this program has far outpaced supply, and the available funds meaning that schools are receiving far less than is allowed per credential – and the program to turn down funding for qualified credentials due to lack of funds.
Additionally, this update incentivizes access to high-value credentials for students who have been historically furthest from resources. (Historically, more than 75% of CDIP credentials were provided to students who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch.)
This bill is currently in appropriations. Read more here.
Colorado Succeeds was proud to testify in support of SB23-094, introduced by Senators Rachel Zenzinger and Paul Lundeen, which would create the Colorado School Transportation Modernization Task Force. This task force would create a report containing findings and recommendations to improve public school transportation services for students. The task force must prepare, publish, and share the findings of its report by January 31, 2024, with the House and Senate Education committees of the General Assembly, the State Board of Education, and the Governor.
The task force will explore transportation challenges that create barriers for students, make recommendations for sustainable funding, and facilitate the development of transportation talent pipelines and competitive compensation to recruit drivers.
This bill passed through appropriations and will next be heard by the Senate Committee of the Whole. Read more here.
Growing the Teacher Workforce Pipeline
SB23-87 addresses two critical needs that Colorado Succeeds cares deeply about: producing more highly-qualified teachers who represent the learners in Colorado and creating new pathways to a better job for more Coloradans through apprenticeships. Teacher shortage is an issue that impacts all of Colorado and while apprenticeships are not the only solution, but we’re excited by the way SB23-87 has the potential to create new pathways and diversify the teaching workforce.
This bill passed through appropriations and will be heard by the Senate Committee of the Whole.
Looking to the Second Half of Session
We anticipate the second half of session to be busy: on the K-12 front, this week we are supporting HB23-1231, which establishes a new state focus on math instruction and improvement for students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade by focusing on evidence-based strategies, teacher preparation programs, and boost after-school programing and other tutoring.
Additionally, we’re expecting to work on bills related to universal pre-k, accountability, and assessments, and more! Stay tuned to our channels for additional updates on the session.