Bills signed into law today

(May 13) – Gov. Polis signed two bills sponsored by House Democrats today at the Hope Center in Denver.

First on the docket was Rep. Janet Buckner’s bill, HB19-1005, which creates a tax credit for early childhood educators.

“This new law will address two major challenges facing hardworking families and early childhood educators: quality and stability,” said Rep. Buckner, D-Aurora. “Our educators need to be paid more and that includes those who care for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.”

This tax credit was endorsed by the Colorado’s Teacher Shortage Report and encourages child care professionals to improve their skills as educators to better support the development of young students.

Next was Rep. Susan Lontine’s bipartisan bill, HB19-1194. This bill reduces preschool and early elementary out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. In Colorado and across the country, young children are being removed from pre-school and early elementary grades at alarming rates.

“This law is truly about addressing a civil rights issue for Colorado’s youngest learners. Suspensions and expulsions disproportionately impact children of color and children with disabilities and this will help put that to an end,” said Rep. Lontine, D-Denver. “This new law will help reduce the likelihood of dropouts, academic failure and an increased likelihood of entry into the criminal justice system.”

Suspensions and expulsions result in the loss of valuable learning and enrichment time for Colorado’s kids. Young students, when they return to school, are often behind their classmates and more likely to be disruptive.

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