March 16, 2022

HOUSE ED COMMITTEE PASSES TWO BILLS TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR SUCCESS

DENVER, CO – The House Education Committee passed two bills that will prepare students for success. HB22-1248 passed by a vote of 6 to 3 and would extend the School Leadership Pilot Program indefinitely. HB22-1255, passed unanimously and would require higher education institutions to provide better support for students with disabilities.

“We’re making sure some of the best educators in Colorado get the chance to impact students beyond their school district,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango. “This bill continues a great program that identifies top-of-the-line principals in Colorado for mentorship programs with other principals and school districts. The results of this program have been great for boosting school culture and teacher collaboration and I’m very happy to continue such a popular program that has worked to prepare our students for success.”

HB22-1248, sponsored by Representative Barbara McLachlan and David Ortiz, would make permanent the School Leadership Pilot Program in the Department of Education. This popular program identifies dedicated and knowledgeable school principals as mentors and provides the opportunity for other principals to learn, observe and interact with those mentors to improve their leadership skills. This bill aims to continue the program because it successfully increases teacher collaboration, improves school culture and better prepares students for success. The first pilot program was implemented for two cohorts and served principals in more than 50 Colorado school districts.

“There is no doubt that great principals equipped with leadership skills empower educators and improve learning outcomes for our students,” said David Ortiz D-Littleton. “Continuing the School Leadership Pilot Program is the right move for Colorado because more school districts and students will benefit from excellent leadership. We’re also focused on making it easier for all students, including students with a disability, to succeed in higher education. A new bill would allow experts in disability services in education to provide recommendations for real and impactful change for students with disabilities. Higher education needs to be more accessible and accommodating to everyone, and this bill points Colorado in the right direction.”

HB22-1255, sponsored by Representative David Ortiz, would create an advisory committee in the Department of Education that will develop a report with recommendations to improve outcomes for students with disabilities attending state institutions. The goal of this report is the develop a blueprint for making real and meaningful changes to better prepare students with disabilities for success, both in the classroom and after graduation.

A 2019 study from the National Center for Education Statistics reported that 19.4% of undergraduate students have a disability. Also, higher education completion rates for students with a reported disability are significantly lower than students without reported disabilities. This bill aims to level the playing field to make it easier for students to succeed.