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Second Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 980675.01 JJC
SENATE BILL 98155
STATE OF COLORADO
BY SENATORS Hernandez, Feeley, Johnson, Linkhart,
Martinez, Matsunaka, Pascoe, Phillips, Rupert, Tanner, Thiebaut,
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COMPULSORY SCHOOL
ATTENDANCE IN KINDERGARTEN, AND PROVIDING FOR TRANSITION TO A
COMPULSORY FULLDAY KINDERGARTEN BY JULY 1, 2001.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments that may be subsequently
Lowers the age of compulsory school attendance from 7 to 6 years of age after July 1, 1999. Extends compulsory attendance laws to 5yearold children in kindergarten, but adds exceptions for home instruction by a teacher or a nonpublic homebased educational program.
Sets a minimum of 435 hours of attendance per year for kindergarten pupils until July 1, 2001, and a minimum of 968 hours after that date. Permits an extension of time to implement the fullday kindergarten requirements of up to 3 years based on capital construction needs of the school district, upon approval by the state board of education.
Requires local boards of education to implement fullday kindergarten on or after July 1, 2001, and to increase the minimum number of hours of planned teacherpupil instruction and contact.
Conforms halfday and fullday pupil count figures involving kindergarten pupils and pupils with disabilities to the requirements of the act.
Requires a study on compulsory and fullday
kindergarten by the department of education.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 2233104 (1), (1.5), and (5) (a), Colorado Revised Statutes, are amended, and the said 2233104 is further amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SUBSECTION, to read:
2233104. Compulsory school attendance repeal. (1) (a) Every child who has attained the age of seven years and is under the age of sixteen years, except as provided by this section, shall attend public school for at least one thousand fiftysix hours if a secondary school pupil, or nine hundred sixtyeight hours if an elementary school pupil during each school year; except that, in no case shall a school or schools be in session for fewer than one hundred sixty days without the specific prior approval of the commissioner of education. THIS PARAGRAPH (a) IS REPEALED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1999.
(b) EFFECTIVE FOR SCHOOL YEARS BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1999, EVERY CHILD WHO HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF SIX YEARS AND IS UNDER THE AGE OF SIXTEEN YEARS, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY THIS SECTION, SHALL ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOL FOR AT LEAST ONE THOUSAND FIFTYSIX HOURS IF A SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPIL, NINE HUNDRED SIXTYEIGHT HOURS IF AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PUPIL, OR FOUR HUNDRED THIRTYFIVE HOURS IF A KINDERGARTEN PUPIL DURING EACH SCHOOL YEAR; EXCEPT THAT, IN NO CASE SHALL A SCHOOL OR SCHOOLS BE IN SESSION FOR FEWER THAN ONE HUNDRED SIXTY DAYS WITHOUT THE SPECIFIC PRIOR APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION. THIS PARAGRAPH (b) IS REPEALED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001.
(c) EFFECTIVE FOR SCHOOL YEARS BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2001, EVERY CHILD WHO HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF SIX YEARS AND IS UNDER THE AGE OF SIXTEEN YEARS, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY THIS SECTION, SHALL ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOL FOR AT LEAST ONE THOUSAND FIFTYSIX HOURS IF A SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPIL OR NINE HUNDRED SIXTYEIGHT HOURS IF AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PUPIL OR KINDERGARTEN PUPIL DURING EACH SCHOOL YEAR; EXCEPT THAT, IN NO CASE SHALL A SCHOOL OR SCHOOLS BE IN SESSION FOR FEWER THAN ONE HUNDRED SIXTY DAYS WITHOUT THE SPECIFIC PRIOR APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION.
(1.5) (a) (I) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section and any other provision of this article relating to compulsory school attendance, the compulsory school attendance laws apply to a sixyearold child who has been enrolled in a public school in the first grade or in a higher grade level. In such circumstances, the courts may issue orders to compel compliance with the compulsory school attendance requirements of this article. THIS SUBPARAGRAPH (I) IS REPEALED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1999.
(II) NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION AND ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE RELATING TO COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE, THE COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE LAWS APPLY TO A FIVEYEAROLD CHILD WHO HAS BEEN ENROLLED IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL IN KINDERGARTEN OR IN A HIGHER GRADE LEVEL. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THE COURTS MAY ISSUE ORDERS TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH THE COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE. THIS SUBPARAGRAPH (II) SHALL BE EFFECTIVE FOR SCHOOL YEARS BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1999.
This subsection (1.5) shall not apply to a sixyearold
child whose parent or legal guardian:
(I) Chooses to withdraw such child;
(II) NOTIFIES THE BOARD OF EDUCATION IN WRITING THAT SUCH CHILD WILL BE INSTRUCTED AT HOME BY A TEACHER LICENSED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 60.5 OF THIS TITLE OR CERTIFICATED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 60 OF THIS TITLE WHEN THE CHILD ATTAINS THE AGE OF SIX YEARS; OR
(III) NOTIFIES THE BOARD OF EDUCATION IN WRITING THAT SUCH CHILD WILL BE INSTRUCTED AT HOME UNDER A NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM PURSUANT TO SECTION 2233104.5 WHEN THE CHILD ATTAINS THE AGE OF SIX YEARS.
(1.7) THE MONEYS IN THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND OF A SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL BE AVAILABLE TO MEET THE CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION NEEDS OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN IMPLEMENTING FULLDAY KINDERGARTEN. IF ANY SCHOOL DISTRICT ASSESSES ITS CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION NEEDS IN IMPLEMENTING FULLDAY KINDERGARTEN AND SUCH ASSESSMENT INDICATES THAT THE CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION NEEDS CANNOT BE MET BY SEPTEMBER 1, 2001, SUCH SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY APPLY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR AN EXTENSION OF SUCH IMPLEMENTATION DATE. SUCH APPLICATION SHALL BE MADE NO LATER THAN JANUARY 1, 2001, AND SHALL INCLUDE A DESCRIPTION OF THE CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION NEEDS, THE STEPS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT PLANS TO TAKE TO MEET SUCH NEEDS, INCLUDING PLANS FOR RAISING NECESSARY REVENUES, AND THE DATE THAT FULLDAY KINDERGARTEN WILL BE IMPLEMENTED; EXCEPT THAT NO SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL BE GRANTED AN EXTENSION BEYOND JUNE 30, 2004. THE STATE BOARD SHALL GRANT OR DENY EXTENSION APPLICATIONS NO LATER THAN APRIL 1, 2001.
(5) (a) The general assembly hereby
declares that two of the most important factors in ensuring a
child's educational development are parental involvement and parental
responsibility. The general assembly further declares that it
is the obligation of every parent to ensure that every child under
such parent's care and supervision receives adequate education
and training. Therefore, every parent of a child who has attained
the age of
SIX years and is under the age of sixteen years shall ensure that
such child attends the public school in which such child is enrolled
in compliance with this section.
SECTION 2. 2254103 (10) (b), Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
2254103. Definitions repeal. As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
(10) (b) (I) A pupil enrolled in kindergarten and a pupil with a disability receiving an educational program under the "Exceptional Children's Educational Act", article 20 of this title, who would be in kindergarten but for such disability, shall be counted as a halfday pupil. A pupil with a disability receiving a fullday educational program under said act, who would be in a grade beyond kindergarten but for such disability, shall be counted as a fullday pupil. THIS SUBPARAGRAPH (I) IS REPEALED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001.
(II) EFFECTIVE FOR SCHOOL YEARS BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2001, A PUPIL ENROLLED IN KINDERGARTEN AND A PUPIL WITH A DISABILITY RECEIVING AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM UNDER THE "EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN'S EDUCATIONAL ACT", ARTICLE 20 OF THIS TITLE, WHO WOULD BE IN KINDERGARTEN BUT FOR SUCH DISABILITY, SHALL BE COUNTED AS A HALFDAY PUPIL; EXCEPT THAT A PUPIL ENROLLED IN A FULLDAY KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM AND A PUPIL WITH A DISABILITY RECEIVING A FULLDAY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM UNDER SAID ACT, WHO WOULD BE IN A GRADE BEYOND KINDERGARTEN BUT FOR SUCH DISABILITY, SHALL BE COUNTED AS A FULLDAY PUPIL.
SECTION 3. 2232109 (1) (n), Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SUBPARAGRAPH to read:
2232109. Board of education specific duties. (1) In addition to any other duty required to be performed by law, each board of education shall have and perform the following specific duties:
(n) (III) EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN SECTION 2233104 (1.7), EFFECTIVE FOR SCHOOL YEARS BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2001, A CHILD ENROLLED IN KINDERGARTEN SHALL BE REQUIRED TO ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOL FOR A FULL DAY, AND THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF PLANNED TEACHERPUPIL INSTRUCTION AND TEACHERPUPIL CONTACT FOR A CHILD ENROLLED IN KINDERGARTEN SPECIFIED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (I) OF THIS PARAGRAPH (n) SHALL BE INCREASED TO AT LEAST NINE HUNDRED NINETY HOURS. THE ACTUAL HOURS OF SUCH TEACHERPUPIL INSTRUCTION AND TEACHERPUPIL CONTACT MAY BE REDUCED TO NO LESS THAN NINE HUNDRED SIXTYEIGHT HOURS PURSUANT TO SUBSUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH (n).
SECTION 4. Part 1 of article 2 of title 22, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:
222122. Department of education study of compulsory kindergarten and fullday kindergarten. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL CONDUCT A STUDY OF COMPULSORY KINDERGARTEN AND FULLDAY KINDERGARTEN, AS BOTH ARE DESCRIBED IN SECTION 2233104. A REPORT ON THE FINDINGS OF SUCH STUDY SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE EDUCATION COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE AND TO THE JOINT BUDGET COMMITTEE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 31, 1998.
SECTION 5. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.