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Hick signs two key education bills

Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed the bill needed to fund the state’s schools next year and a bill that tweaks the educator evaluation system.

The 2013-14 school funding measure, Senate Bill 13-260, provides a 2.7 percent increase over this year’s average per-pupil funding. Total program funding, the combination of state and local revenue that pays for basic school operations, would rise to $5.5 billion, an increase of about $210 million. Average per pupil funding would move up from the current $6,479 to $6,652. The bill also provides additional funding for the Colorado Preschool Program and for special education. Get details in this EdNews summary.

The second measure, House Bill 13-1257, gives the Department of Education additional oversight over district teacher evaluation systems when districts choose to design their own rather than use the state model system. The bill was prompted, at least indirectly, by disagreements between the Douglas County school board and the local teachers union. Read a legislative staff summary of the bill here.

The governor signed the bills on Friday at Upper Blue Elementary School in Breckenridge, in the district of Democratic Rep. Millie Hamner of Dillon, a prime sponsor of both measures. Hickenlooper has been crisscrossing the state in recent days for a series of photo-op signing ceremonies with lawmakers.

The governor will sign Senate Bill 13-213, the bill to overhaul the entire school finance system, during an 11 a.m. event Tuesday at the Capitol.

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