Few things in public policy are as final as a Supreme Court decision. That's why we were disappointed this week when the state Supreme Court ruled that Colorado's system for financing schools does not violate the constitutional promise of a "thorough and uniform" system of public education. We believed strongly enough in the merits of the case that last October we filed a "friend of the court" brief on the side of the plaintiffs, arguing that the current system actually perpetuates achievement gaps in Colorado schools.
The Bell Policy Center strongly supports Senate Bill 13-213, the proposal to update our state's financing formula for P-12 education. Wade Buchanan, president of the Bell, testified in favor of the proposal on Monday before the House Education Committee, noting that it helps move Colorado in the direction of expanding opportunity for all students.
The fifteenth and final round of Colorado Student Assessment Program scores released August 3rd shows that while overall student performance has improved, Colorado's minority and low-income students continue to face significant and persistent achievement gaps.
My name is Frank Waterous, and I am a senior policy analyst with the Bell Policy Center. The Bell is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of Colorado.
With "Race to the Top" federal funding, the state's legislative interim committee on Public School Finance and other education reform efforts in the headlines, we thought that an update on new research related to one of the key topics in education opportunity might be in order.
Email to supporters: Children perform better in school when their parents are active partners in their education, and the bottom-line goal of HB 09-1057 is to make it possible for more parents to be involved. The bill, supported by the Bell, has passed the legislature and will soon be sent to Gov. Bill Ritter. We consider it a vitally important step toward closing the achievement gap, reducing the dropout rate and increasing advancement toward postsecondary education.