(Dec. 3) – Colorado Speaker-designate KC Becker appointed Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango as Chair of the House Education Committee. She was also appointed to the newly formed Rural Affairs committee.

“I am honored to be appointed as Chair of this critical committee. As a former teacher from a rural community, I’m ready to help deliver for our students, teachers and schools,” said Rep. McLachlan. “We must continue to build on the successes of previous sessions, defend against attacks that undermine education funding.”

Rep. McLachlan taught English and journalism at Durango High School for 20 years.

McLachlan also earned a spot on the newly formed Rural Affairs Committee. She showed herself to be a force for rural Colorado at the state capitol again this year, and serving on this committee will allow her to focus on issues involving agriculture, water, broadband, and rural economic development. Her bills to expand rural broadband (HB18-1099), help address the rural teacher shortage (SB18-042), and promote the next generation of Colorado farmers and ranchers (SB18-085) are now in effect.

McLachlan, whose district included the 416 fire and the Burro fire, was instrumental in bringing stakeholders together to provide aid, attention and assistance to fight wildfires. During the 2018 interim, she served on the Wildfire Matters Review Committee.

In her first session in 2017, Rep. McLachlan passed a creative solution to the rural teacher shortage by modifying pension rules so retired teachers and other school workers are allowed to return to work for the full 180-day school year. She also passed legislation to develop a strategic plan to address teacher shortages throughout the state, and to create a program to test for lead in public schools’ drinking water.

McLachlan represents House District 59, which includes La Plata, San Juan, Ouray, Hinsdale and Archuleta counties and part of Gunnison County.

For the full list of committee assignments for House Democrats, click here.

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