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Education bills plod along

Bills affecting high school dropouts, online and digital learning and adult college students are moving in the Colorado legislature. A few even are on the final lap of moving to the governor’s office for signature.

Here’s a rundown of action on education-related bills in the Colorado legislature over the last few days.

Final passage

House Bill 12-1146, which would a dropout recovery program that allows selected students to take high school classes at community colleges, was passed by the House Monday.

House Bill 12-1124, a measure that would require the Department of Education to hire a consultant to conduct a study of digital learning in Colorado (including online and blended education and use of classroom technology) passed the Senate Tuesday.

Preliminary Senate approval

House Bill 12-1072 directs state colleges and universities to develop programs for assessment of students’ life experiences and awarding college credit for those. One of the bill’s goals is to make it easier for veterans to translate military training and classes into credit at state colleges.

House Bill 12-1061 directs state agencies to compile information about workforce needs and higher education degree and certificate production in order the help colleges better tailor their offerings to employment needs. Although this is a fairly minor bill, that didn’t prevent Senate Democrats and Republicans from taking half an hour Tuesday to argue over the bill’s value.

Committee action

At the request of sponsor Rep. Robert Ramirez, R-Westminster, the House Education Committee Monday killed House Bill 12-1225, which proposed creation of a system under which school districts could have been classified as model charter school authorizers if they adopted certain best practices. Ramirez said the idea needed more work. Word is that not everyone in the charter world was onboard with the idea.


House bill 12-1324, introduced last Friday, would change the admission standards for Colorado Mesa University from “moderately selective” to “selective” and increase the number of trustees from 11 to 13. The state’s “selective” category currently in includes the CU campuses, CSU-Fort Collins, the University of Northern Colorado and Fort Lewis College.

Straw in the wind

Reporter Joe Hanel of the Durango Herald noticed over the weekend this tweet on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Twitter account, @hickforco: “Every child deserves a chance. Every HS student must see a path forward. That’s why SB 15 deserves a full hearing in the House.” Senate Bill 12-015, of course, is the undocumented students tuition bill pending in the Senate while supporters seek to build support in the Republican-controlled House.