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May 12, 2021


DENVER, CO– The House Education Committee today passed bipartisan legislation by a vote of 9-0 that would make it easier for students who graduate from high school early to pursue post-secondary education or workforce training programs.

“We have to take an innovative look at how we can help all Colorado’s students learn the skills they need to thrive,” said Education Committee Chair Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango. “This bill will help Colorado build back stronger by increasing access to higher education attainment and workforce training programs for more low-income and underprivileged students. It’s clear that when we give students the opportunity to earn money toward their post-secondary education, it makes it easier and less expensive for them to get degrees and certificates that will help them excel.”

Two years ago, the legislature passed SB19-216 with bipartisan support to create the High School Innovation Learning Pilot that incentivizes students to pursue work-based learning opportunities and develop workforce related skills prior to graduating from high school.

SB21-106, sponsored by Representatives Barbara McLachlan and Mark Baisley, would build on that program by expanding eligibility to include students who graduate from high school early without negatively impacting student counts and district funding levels. The bill is expected to add up to 20 new schools or districts to the pilot, in addition to the 17 currently participating.

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