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Lawmakers tackle backlogged bills

Both the full Senate and the House Education Committee Monday advanced several education measures, all of which started in the Senate and need to clear the House by May 11, the last day of the 2011 session.

The Senate gave final approval to these bills:

  • Senate Bill 11-109, which creates a check off on state income tax forms to provide funds for the state preschool program. Passed 26-8
  • Senate Bill 11-080, which requires greater public and parent participation in turnaround plans for a small number of the lowest performing schools. 20-14
  • Senate Bill 11-052, the measure that would start a limited system of higher education performance funding only after a certain threshold of general state financial support is reached. 23-11
  • Senate Bill 11-265, changing the name of Mesa State College to Colorado Mesa University. 33-1
  • Senate Bill 11-245, which makes changes in Department of Higher Education regulation of teacher preparation programs, 30-4

The Senate also started preliminary debate on House Bill 11-1121, which bars felons who’ve committed certain crimes from working in non-licensed jobs at schools. Senators passed an amendment that gives school districts discretion in hiring – essentially gutting the bill – but then further action on the measure was delayed until Tuesday.

The House Education Committee made quick work of three Senate bills, including:

  • Senate Bill 11-133, which commissions a study of school discipline practices, passed 13-0
  • Senate Bill 11-204, which updates statutory definitions of the role and mission of Colorado State University-Pueblo and of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, 13-0
  • Senate Bill 11-070, intended to encourage better provision of services for special education students in college. 11-2

Chair Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, told members that the committee probably will need to meet Wednesday, Friday and next Monday to deal with the Senate-sponsored bills headed to the House.

Use the Education Bill Tracker for links to bill texts and status information

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