(Feb. 3) –The House of Representatives gave voice-vote approval today to a bill by Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, to allow parents to take unpaid leave to attend their children’s essential academic activities. HB16-1002 reenacts the 2009 “Parental Involvement in K-12 Education Act.” “By passing this bill we will create a foundation for all parents to be involved in their children’s education, while giving flexibility to employers and employees to decide what works best for them,” said Rep. Buckner. “I want to thank the parents, students, teachers, and the business community for collaborating with me to make this a great bill.” “The evidence we heard in the Education Committee is conclusive and uncontroverted,” said Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs. “Parental involvement is crucial to increase academic success and decrease dropout rates. This bill gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to academic success for our kids.” This bill had no discernible negative impact on businesses when it was law from 2009-2015. “In fact, the state has enjoyed great economic growth in that time,” said Rep. Alec Garnet, D-Denver. “Since 2009, our job growth has increased 2.1 percent compared to the rest of the country. Unemployment is at 3.5 percent. If this was bad for business, Colorado wouldn’t be ranked first for our growing economy.” Thirteen other states have successful parental involvement legislation on the books. The 2009 legislation expired Sept. 1, 2015. The bill includes safeguards to ensure flexibility for employers and employees to work together. Parents must provide their employer with at least a week’s notice, can take no more than six hours a month and can take up to 18 hours a year. This important change will help parents support their children who work hard to achieve the success they deserve. The law applies only to businesses with 50 or more employees. The bill proceeds to a third reading on the House floor.

Leave a Reply