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April 26, 2024

Bipartisan Bill to Boost K-12 Science Performance Passes House

DENVER, CO – The House today passed bipartisan legislation to boost science instruction and performance in K-12 schools. HB24-1446, sponsored by Rep. Barbara McLachlan, would make no-cost professional development programs available to science educators, with an emphasis on programming that supports students who are below grade level, students living with disabilities, and students who are English Language Learners.

“As a former teacher, I know how important professional development programs are because they provide insight into new techniques and tactics to engage all students,” said Rep. Barabra McLachlan, D-Durango. “This bill would make professional development programs available to science educators at no-cost so our teachers can better support our students — especially those with a disability or learning below grade level. The key to success in the classroom is a great educator, and this bill makes it easier for our science teachers to brush up on their skills and meet the diverse needs of our students.” 

HB24-1446, also sponsored by Anthony Hartsook, R-Parker, passed the House by a vote of 57 to 6. This bill permits the Colorado Department of Education to contract with Colorado higher education institutions to develop and provide free, optional professional development training available to Colorado’s science educators. The program would include instruction on interventions for students who are below grade level or struggling in science, children with disabilities, and students who are English Language Learners. 

Under the bill, teachers who participate in this professional development may earn credit towards license renewal. Additionally, rural school districts must be prioritized if demand for the training exceeds capacity. If passed, the program would be made available beginning in the 2025-26 school year. HB24-1446 aims to improve K-12 science performance for Colorado students by giving teachers the tools and resources they need to foster success among the students who need the most support.

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