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April 13, 2022


DENVER, CO – The House Education today passed three bills sponsored by Representative Julie McCluskie that will boost Colorado’s workforce and prepare students for success.

“The legislation we advanced today will invest $90 million in federal funds to create new pathways into good jobs in growing industries and will boost funding for K-12 public schools by $80 million a year to better serve special education students,” said Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-DIllon. “Through SB22-127, we are significantly increasing resources for public schools that serve special education students to set up all our learners to thrive. HB22-1350 will create new regional partnerships to help address workforce shortages and develop the talent employers need to grow their businesses, and HB22-1215 will expand secondary, postsecondary and work-based learning experiences to save students money as they pursue their education and prepare for good jobs in high-demand industries.”

HB22-1350, sponsored by Representatives Julie McCluskie and Janice Rich, would establish a grant program with $90 million in federal funds to foster regional talent development initiatives to fill good jobs in growing industries. The competitive grant program will leverage local, federal and private dollars to better align postsecondary credential programs to today’s jobs. The program will take a regional approach to build and scale successful partnerships between employers and postsecondary institutions. These partnerships will build new pathways into high-skilled and high-demand industries, especially in industries with staffing shortages.

Grants will prioritize projects that enhance collaboration between industry, communities, and higher education institutions. They will also focus on evidence-based best practices and pathways that focus on applying work experience and earned credentials toward postsecondary degrees.

HB22-1350 passed 9-0.

SB22-127, sponsored by Representatives Julie McCluskie and Colin Larson, will dramatically increase funding for more than 100,000 Colorado special education students, from about $220 million per year currently to $300 million per year moving forward. This increase will bring down student-teacher ratios, decrease class sizes, and help schools provide the tailored assistance and support special education students need to learn and receive the quality education they deserve.

SB22-127 passed by vote of 9-0.

“Secondary, postsecondary and workplace experience programs help students launch their careers in growing industries, and this bill will expand these opportunities to more students in our state,” said Rep. Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver. “This legislation will help the state better prepare students for success and create new options for students to earn degrees and thrive in the workforce.”

HB22-1215, sponsored by Representatives McCluskie and Jennifer Bacon, aims to better prepare students for success by creating a task force to recommend policies that will support secondary, postsecondary and workplace learning, which prepare students for careers in high-need industries. The bill will direct education leaders to examine opportunities to expand these opportunities in Colorado and provide postsecondary learning opportunities for students still enrolled in high school.

HB22-1215 passed by a vote of 8-1.

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