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.
View the working draft of the Board's 2017-2018 Legislative Agenda for state and federal legislation.
Board Legislative Priorities for 2016-2017
Board Support for Federal Legislative Actions
Individuals with Disabilities Act - The Board supports full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Rationale: Currently, PSD is reimbursed about 17 cents for every dollar the federal government requires us to spend on education under IDEA. It is time to increase the funding to this to at minimum the 40 cents of every dollar initially promised by this legislation.
Board Support for State Legislative Actions
1. Policies for greater flexibility in setting the State budget related to K-12 education - The Board recognizes that without a change, TABOR mandated rebates will be rendered at the expense of critical state and local programs receiving General Fund support such as K-12 education, and that the Colorado General Assembly has subjected K-12 education to significant budget cuts through the mechanism of the “negative factor”. Such budget cuts are contrary to the voters’ intent in passing Amendment 23 to sustain K-12 education funding at a level equal to the growth in inflation plus enrollment, and these budget cuts significantly threaten the ability for K-12 educators to pro- vide every Colorado child with a thorough and uniform education.
We therefore support actively advocating for the adoption of policies which would provide the General Assembly with greater flexibility in setting the State budget, and which would allow the state to retain more of the revenue it collects.
- In general, we support policies that address the structural imbalance within the state budget created by the current constraints of our state constitution.
- Specifically, we support moving the Hospital Provider Fee (HPF) from the general fund into an enterprise fund, exempting it from TABOR and preventing additional cuts to K12.
Rationale: Despite an improvement in Colorado’s economy, the state budget is still facing shortfalls due to the constraints of TABOR, Gallagher and Amendment 23 in the State Constitution. Any policies that ease the strain on the state budget and allow Colorado to invest more money into K-12 education would benefit Poudre and all school districts across the state. The Hospital Provider Fee does not belong in the General Fund because these dollars are directed for a specific purpose. Because the HPF is counted in the broader general budget, however, revenue from the fee is forcing the state to refund money that otherwise would fund improvements to our education system.
2. PSAT and SAT tests - We support using PSAT and SAT tests to satisfy both Federal and state requirements for standardized testing in high school. We also support using an assessment for ninth-grade, which is aligned with the PSAT rather than the current CMAS/PARCC assessments.
Rationale: These tests are more meaningful to students than a specific state test. More meaningful exams would give students a reason to take the test and to perform well. These exams also provide a standard against which students can measure their performance against that of other students across the country.
3. High school science and social studies exams - We support the use of end of course assessments for the state required high school science and social studies exams.
Rationale: Like mathematics, in high school students take courses relevant to these exams in different years. This proposal would allow students to take the exams in close proximity to the related course and not potentially years later, or even worse, earlier.
4. Senate Bill 191 - We support the modification of the requirements of SB 191 to allow individual school districts to establish the impact of student test scores anywhere from 20 to 50 percent in the annual evaluation of teachers.
Rationale: The current requirement that student scores count as 50 percent of annual teacher evaluations reduces local control over educator evaluations.
5. Board Executive Session and employee negotiations - We support allowing Boards of Education to meet in executive session with school district staff for the purpose of determining our positions with respect to employee negotiations.
Rationale: The intent of Proposition 104 was to require employee negotiations to be held in public. Not permitting school boards to meet privately to develop their negotiating positions and strategies (as employee groups may do) was not the intent, but merely a side effect of the way the proposition was written. Modifying the law to allow school boards to meet in executive session with school district staff for the purpose of determining bargaining positions brings fairness to school boards and school districts back into the negotiations equation.
6. Claire Davis Bill - We support repeal of the Claire Davis bill.
Rationale: Removing governmental immunity from school districts and holding them responsible for any school shooting or similar disaster not only increases school district’s insurance and other costs, but this type of unfortunate event could have devastating impact upon a school district and consequently upon all of its students. There are no standards for determining what reasonably foreseeable harm might be.
7. Funding school district buildings - We support sustainable methods of funding the construction and maintenance of school building and school district facilities. Allowing impact fees to be charged for the purposes of constructing and maintaining schools is one possible solution.
Rationale: No current mechanism currently exists to allow for an ongoing source of funding for building new schools and school district facilities, and for paying for the maintenance needs, to keep existing school buildings and district facilities in good repair. A long-term, sustainable solution to funding the construction and ongoing maintenance needs of school buildings and district facilities is badly needed.