BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1319
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
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10:15 AM -- House Bill 09-1319
Senator Williams, sponsor of House Bill 09-1319, presented her bill. The bill concerns concurrent enrollment of public high school students in courses offered by institutions of higher education.
Senator Heath commented on Senate Bill 09-285, which he said is a companion to House Bill 09-1319. Senator Romer expressed concern that the focus would be shifted away from at-risk students. He said he would offer an amendment extending the program to a sixth year for students that qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch.
The following persons testified:
10:28 AM -- Matt Gianneschi, representing the Governor's Office, testified in support of the bill. He explained that the bill is the result of a recommendation of the Governor's P-20 Council. He talked about the three postsecondary enrollment paths currently in statute: High School Fast Track program; Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act; and the Fast College Fast Jobs Act. Dr. Gianneschi spoke to earlier committee questions about access and the financial impact on school districts. He explained how the tuition rates are capped.
Dr. Gianneschi responded to committee questions, including a question from Senator King about how early colleges fit into the bill. He also responded to a question from Senator Hudak about the impact of the repeal of the Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act. Dr. Gianneschi talked about how contract courses would be impacted by the bill.
10:40 AM -- Bruce Caughey, representing the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), and Jane Urschel, representing the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB), testified in support of the bill. Mr. Caughey provided the perspective of a rural school superintendent, who feels concurrent enrollment is an important tool for rural high schools. Mr. Caughey expressed a concern about the advisory board created in the bill, saying it is important to have K-12 representation on the board. Dr. Urschel said the bill is one of CASB's highest priorities in the current legislative session. She said Senate Bill 09-285 is an important piece of the concept. Dr. Urschel echoed Mr. Caughey's concerns about the make-up of the advisory committee.
The witnesses responded to committee comments and questions.
10:46 AM -- David Skaggs, Executive Director of the Department of Higher Education (DHE), and Julie Carnahan, Chief Academic Officer at DHE, testified in support of the bill. Director Skaggs provided two handouts: a time line for implementation of Senate Bill 08-212 and a memorandum describing the department's support of the bill as well as its concerns (Attachments A and B). He spoke to earlier committee questions around the make-up of the advisory board. He described a proposed amendment, L.026, which addresses the concurrent enrollment interdepartmental working group. He responded to committee questions about the amendment.
Dr. Carnahan spoke to the questions related to the amendment. She talked about the committees that would be involved with the concurrent enrollment program created in the bill. Discussion between Senator King and Dr. Carnahan about the amendment ensued. Senator Heath commented on the amendment as well, expressing concerns about it.
10:58 AM -- Linda Bowman, representing the Community College System, testified in support of the bill. Dr. Bowman described the parties involved in the creation of the program set forth in the bill and talked about their work. She talked about the advisory board established in the bill. Dr. Bowman responded to committee questions, including one from Senator Spence about the proposed amendment L.026.
11:02 AM -- Frank Waterous, representing the Bell Policy Center, testified in support of the bill. He provided a handout containing his testimony (Attachment D). Dr. Waterous talked about what the Bell Policy Center sees as the most critical elements of the bill: expansion of the mission of concurrent enrollment to serve a wider range of students; focus on student success and readiness; and establishment of an understandable, predictable, and consistent funding process.
11:05 AM -- Elisa and Tania Diaz, representing Metro Organization for People (MOP), testified in support of the bill. They talked about why MOP supports concurrent enrollment.
11:07 AM -- Scott Groginsky, representing the Colorado Children's Campaign, testified in support of the bill. He said the bill exemplifies the P-20 concept. Mr. Groginsky talked about the work of the Children's Campaign around concurrent enrollment. He said the bill expands access and affirms funding streams that promote equal access. Mr. Groginsky responded to a question from Senator Romer about the documentation status of students participating in the concurrent enrollment program.