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Wednesday Churn: Parent trigger dies

What’s churning:

Updated 3:45 p.m. –The Senate State Affairs Committee this afternoon voted 3-2 to kill House Bill 12-1149, this year’s parent trigger proposal.

The measure would have allowed parents to petition the State Board of Education for conversion of failing schools. If the State Board had decided intervention was necessary, the issue would have been returned to the local school board for action.

The bill started out as a softer version of a measure killed in 2011, and it was amended further in the House to create more hoops for parent groups to jump through. Even with that, it squeaked out of the House on a 33-31 party-line vote, Republicans voting yes and Democrats no. (Get more details here on the details of the bill as it passed the House.)

Senate sponsor Mike Johnston, D-Denver, said given the amendments, the bill was more of a warning “flare” than a trigger, given that a parent petition wouldn’t automatically have forced action on a failing school.

State Affairs is the Senate’s version of the “kill committee,” where leadership often sends bills it would like to stop.

Three Democrats voted the postpone the bill indefinitely – Chair Rollie Heath of Boulder, Vice Chair Bob Bacon on Fort Collins and Betty Boyd of Lakewood, who’s also president pro tempore of the Senate. (Heath and Bacon serve with Johnston on Senate Education.) Republicans Tim Neville of Lakewood and Kevin Grantham of Cañon City supported the bill.

Get background on trigger laws around the nation in this backgrounder from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Incidentally, the early-childhood literacy bill, House Bill 12-1238, this morning was assigned to Senate State Affairs by Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont. Johnston also is the Senate sponsor of that measure.

What’s on tap:

The state Capital Construction Assistance Board is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. in room 101 at the Department of Education, 201 E. Colfax Ave. Agenda

A good read from elsewhere:

College completion: The Lumina Foundation, which focuses on improving college completion rates and on higher ed reform, has released its latest annual report on the subject, finding the U.S. has a long way to go to reach a goal of 60 percent of adults having “high quality” degrees or certificates by 2025. InsideHigherEducation.com has the details.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.

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