Legislative Agenda

Board 2021-22 priorities

Each year, the PSD Board of Education identifies priorities for the upcoming state and federal legislative sessions. The board engages in dialogue and community engagement with both legislators and the community regarding these priorities.

The BOE legislative agenda for 2021-22 is also available in this pdf format.


State legislative and policy actions for 2021-22

State of Colorado funding impacting preK-12 school funding

1. Structural Issues - TABOR

         a. The Poudre School District Board of Education supports current efforts to build a coalition 
addressing Colorado state funding requirements resulting from TABOR or other provisions that 
may result in a future statewide referendum or initiative for a ballot measure amending the 
Colorado Constitution. 

(also submit to CASB – the Colorado Association of School Boards). 

          b. The Poudre School District Board of Education recognizes that a structural change is 
needed in how the State of Colorado funds K-12 education and other critical state and local 
programs. This structural change includes addressing the negative impacts of provisions in the 
Colorado Constitution such as TABOR that continue to impact the state budget. These provisions 
have caused the Colorado General Assembly to subject K-12 education to significant budget cuts 
through the mechanism formerly known as the “negative factor,” which is now termed the “budget 
stabilization factor.” 

Such budget cuts are contrary to the voters’ intent in passing Amendment 23 to the Colorado 
Constitution, which called for the State to sustain K-12 education funding at a level equal to the 
growth in enrollment plus inflation. These budget cuts also threaten the ability of K-12 educators to 
provide every Colorado child with a thorough and uniform education as required by the Colorado 
Constitution. 

Therefore, The Poudre School District Board of Education supports continued efforts by the General 
Assembly in addressing and resolving these conflicting Constitutional provisions. 

          c.  . The Poudre School District Board of Education supports adoption of policies and legislation 
to change the Public School Finance Act of 1994 to provide more equity among districts generally 
and more support for rural school districts. The State funding formula needs to be updated to better 
reflect the needs of modern educational environments, such as recognizing advances in educational 
technology, innovation and creativity in delivering educational programs, online and other blended 
learning opportunities complementing seat time requirements, and equity for high-poverty districts. 
It is time to modernize these requirements with methods more compatible with existing technology 
for measuring and reporting attendance and work time. 
(also submit to CASB). 

       
Improving Mental Health

2. The Poudre School District Board of Education supports adoption of policies and legislation 
recognizing the need and providing funding for more mental health support for students, teachers 
and staff, especially in the era of COVID-19 related changes to learning environments. 
Educator Evaluations 
 

Educator Evaluations

3. The Poudre School District Board of Education supports continued reform in the teacher 
evaluation process to encourage courageous conversations between administrators and teachers 
that leads to real goal setting and effective feedback. Evaluations are more effective when trust and 
communication are paramount, rather than rigidly imposed accountability measures that discourage 
continuous improvement in teaching methods. 
(also submit to CASB). 
 

Charter Schools

4. The Poudre School District Board of Education supports adoption of policies and legislation 
amending the Colorado Charter Schools Act regarding the process of obtaining waivers from Colorado 
law, including requiring the requesting charter school to provide a written rationale for seeking each 
such waiver. 
(also submit to CASB). 


Superintendent Selection

5. The Poudre School District Board of Education supports clarifying the Colorado Open 
Meetings Law subsection pertaining to school boards that itemizes what topics can be discussed in 
executive session to add the following: 

  • If a school board names more than one finalist for a superintendent opening and 
  • If there is a public forum with the finalists where finalists answer questions from members of the public 

Then the Board of Education can meet in executive session to interview each of the finalists and can 
meet in executive session to deliberate on the merits of the finalists (though not to vote on which 
finalist should be selected for the job – which still must be done in public) 

(also submit to CASB). 

Rationale: 

We want to clarify the executive sessions law to encourage more districts to name multiple finalists 
for the superintendent position rather than a single finalist. Right now, the laws on hiring a 
superintendent allow school boards to name a single finalist for the position of superintendent. There 
is an incentive to delay the selection of finalists and to name only one finalist for a superintendent 
position. Naming multiple finalists should be encouraged because it provides more opportunities for 
public input and scrutiny. 

Although the open meetings law allows some discussion in executive session for purposes of 
determining positions subject to negotiations, for example, school districts have faced numerous, 
duplicative legal challenges in recent years. Such discussions are especially sensitive and demand 
strict confidentiality during the superintendent selection process, and districts should not have to 
devote public resources to litigation. Clarifying the law would allow districts to continue to discuss 
finalists in executive session without risk of costly lawsuits that detract from their educational mission. 

Why is it important to clarify this law and clearly allow interviews of and deliberation on finalists in 
executive session? While in theory it is great to have everything done in public, in practice, candidates 
will not be as forthcoming on difficult interview questions in public and do not want negative things 
said about them in a public. Boards need to be able to ask difficult questions and discuss frankly the 
pros and cons of candidates in order to determine who is the best fit for a district. Search firms also 
advise that for many of the most qualified candidates, confidentiality is essential. Given those facts, 
some candidates may refuse to participate in a finalist round if all interviews and deliberations are in 
public, thus depriving our districts of otherwise excellent candidates. 
 

Federal legislative actions for 2021-22: 

IDEA Funding

6. The Poudre School District Board of Education supports full funding of the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and requests serious action by the 117th United States Congress to
increase the federal share of funding.

(Currently, Poudre School District is reimbursed approximately 17 cents for every dollar the federal
government requires we spend on education under IDEA. It is time to increase the funding to a
minimum of the 40 cents of every dollar initially promised by this legislation more than 40 years ago)
(also submit to CASB).

7. The Poudre School District Board of Education supports expansion of and funding for the 
E-Rate program for school broadband connectivity to include efforts for students in a virtual learning 
environment lacking reliable internet connections. 
(also submit to CASB). 

8. The Poudre School District Board of Education supports additional federal funding for school 
districts to compensate for COVID-19 related expenses and shortfalls in budgets resulting from 
economic effects of the pandemic. 
(also submit to CASB).