BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1243
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved amendment L.009 (Attachment C). The motion |
Refer House Bill 09-1243, as amended, to the Commi
|Pass Without Objection|
03:42 PM -- House Bill 09-1243
The committee took a brief recess.
The committee came back to order.
Senator Bacon, sponsor of House Bill 09-1243, presented his bill, concerning measures to raise the graduation rate in public high schools.
The following persons testified:
03:54 PM -- Matt Gianneschi, representing the Governor's Office, testified in support of the bill. Dr. Gianneschi said the bill is consistent with the Governor's agenda and is something the Governor has advocated for for several years.
03:57 PM -- Brian Brinkerhoff, representing Colorado Youth for a Change, testified in support of the bill. He talked about his organization and its dropout prevention and dropout recovery efforts.
03:58 PM -- Scott Groginsky, representing the Colorado Children's Campaign, testified in support of the bill. He talked about the number of students who do not graduate from high school and issues the high dropout rate causes. He said the bill puts into action research-based strategies. Mr. Groginsky talked about the efforts in five school districts, saying the bill would extend these efforts to districts all over the state. Mr. Groginsky responded to questions from the committee, including a question from Senator Hudak about funding sources for the program created in the bill. He noted that the Office of Dropout Prevention and Student Re-Engagement created in the bill would not go into operation until funding is received.
04:03 PM -- Richard Wenning, representing the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), testified in support of the bill. Mr. Wenning responded to committee questions, including a question from Senator King about the language in the bill addressing student dropout prevention and student engagement and re-engagement policies and strategies and how the bill works with other bills being considered on concurrent enrollment. Committee discussion about concurrent enrollment ensued.
Discussion with the witness continued with a question from Senator Scheffel about funding for the program and about data around why students drop out. Mr. Wenning said the bill focuses on known research-based strategies. He talked about funding, saying federal Title I funds might be used in high schools for the purposes of the bill. Senator Scheffel asked about the provision of the bill removing the requirement for mandatory expulsion of habitually disruptive students. Mr. Wenning responded, talking about the path from school to prison for some students, saying the bill moves toward finding ways to engage students who are crying out for help.
Senator Bacon commented on the provisions regarding habitually disruptive students, noting that the bill gives the prerogative to the school district in expelling students, providing more latitude to school districts. Senator King talked about alternatives to expulsion for disruptive students.
Senator Hudak asked how the work of the office created in the bill will be incorporated with the work done by the department under Senate Bill 09-163. Mr. Wenning responded.
04:20 PM -- Ken Seeley, representing the Partnership for Families and Children, testified in support of the bill. He talked about use of federal Title I funds. Mr. Seeley also talked about Colorado's high special education dropout rate. Senator Hudak commented on the testimony regarding special education dropouts, saying the U.S. Department of Education holds states accountable for the graduation rates of special education students.
04:24 PM -- Jennifer Dounay, representing the Education Commission of the States (ECS), testified. She described ECS and provided a handout on dropout prevention (Attachment B). She talked about what other states are doing to improve student graduation rates. She said the bill is in line with what other states are doing around dropout prevention. Ms. Dounay talked about distinctions made between a high school diploma and a GED.
04:33 PM -- Fred Franko, representing the Colorado After School Network, testified in support of the bill. He described the network. Mr. Franko talked about the impact of after school programs on dropout rates.
04:36 PM -- Janiece Mackey, representing Colorado Youth for a Change, testified in support of the bill. She talked about her work with students at risk of dropping out and responded to committee questions, including a question from Senator Hudak about the strategies she employs to get students back in school. She also talked about credit recovery for students that are returning after dropping out. Senator Spence mentioned the Life Skills program in Denver and asked about the program in Aurora. The witness talked about the specifics of the program for which she works. Ms. Mackey spoke on behalf of Laura Ramos, a student served by Ms. Mackey's program.
04:40 PM -- Judith Martinez, representing the CDE, offered to answer questions about the bill. Senator Spence asked how the CDE calculates dropout statistics and graduation rates for students who have re-entered school after dropping out. Conversation between Senator Spence and Ms. Martinez ensued around the challenges in calculating accurate dropout and graduation rates. Senator Hudak weighed in on the conversation as well, describing the work of the State Board of Education in this area and providing information about the graduation rate versus the completion rate.
Scott Groginsky returned to the table to speak to questions around dropout, graduation, and completion rates. Committee conversation with Ms. Martinez around these issues continued. Senator Bacon talked about challenges around calculating student success.
|TIME: || 04:52:16 PM|
|MOTION:||Refer House Bill 09-1243, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations. The motion passed on a 7-0-1 vote.|
Final YES: 7 NO: 0 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
The committee adjourned.