The act creates the school discipline task force (task force) to study and make recommendations regarding school district discipline policies and practices, state and local discipline reporting requirements, and local engagement.
The task force consists of 18 members, including the legislative member who is the chair of the Colorado youth advisory council review committee (review committee); the executive director of the department of early childhood or the executive director's designee; the commissioner of education (commissioner) or the commissioner's designee; representatives of statewide education organizations; and former students who attended Colorado public schools and who have lived experience with the school discipline system. The commissioner is required to call the first meeting of the task force.
The task force is required to:
- Define "disproportionate discipline";
- Review the department of education's (department) standardization of discipline data;
- Review the department's plan for creating school district and charter school institute profile reports;
- Determine whether the department's standardization of discipline data should include reports of alternative disciplinary measures taken prior to a student's suspension or expulsion;
- Recommend processes and provide resources for public engagement in a local school district board of education's discussions of discipline data;
- Review existing public engagement processes;
- Review best practices identified by the department concerning dropout prevention and student re-engagement;
- Identify alternative approaches to discipline, including but not limited to positive behavioral interventions and supports, bullying intervention and prevention, and behavior intervention plans, and address concerns around workforce and other resource shortages in school districts in relation to school discipline practices and reporting; and
- Recommend legislative and administrative changes, as necessary, and analyze the costs and time frames required to implement the changes.
The task force is required to submit a final report on or before August 1, 2024. The task force is required to present its findings and recommendations to the review committee during the first meeting of the review committee in 2024.
Current law encourages school districts to consider certain factors before suspending or expelling a student. The act requires school districts to consider those factors before suspending or expelling a student, which include the age and disciplinary history of the student, whether the student has a disability, the seriousness of the violation, whether the violation threatened the safety of any student or staff member, and whether a lesser intervention would properly address the violation.
The act appropriates $164,398 from the general fund to the department to implement the task force. The act also appropriates $1,415 from the general fund to the legislative department for use by the general assembly for legislator per diem and travel reimbursement to participate on the task force.
APPROVED by Governor June 2, 2023
EFFECTIVE August 7, 2023
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause and takes effect 90 days after sine die.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)