Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

I_I_SchoolReadiness_2018A 08/20/2018 09:08:12 AM Committee Summary

Date 08/20/2018
Martinez Humenik *
Merrifield X
Pettersen E
Wilson X
Priola *
Buckner X
Time 09:08:12 AM to 01:19:54 PM
Place HCR 0112
This Meeting was called to order by Buckner
This Report was prepared by Jimmy Reed
Hearing Items Action Taken
Teacher Shortages, Putting the Plan into Action Committee Discussion Only
The Employer’s Landscape for Early Childhood Committee Discussion Only
Early Identification of Children with Dyslexia Committee Discussion Only
Bill Draft Requests Committee Discussion Only
Public Testimony Committee Discussion Only

Teacher Shortages, Putting the Plan into Action - Committee Discussion Only

09:10:52 AM  

Brittany Lane, Director of Educator Preparation, Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), and Katie Zaback, Senior Director of Policy, Partnerships, and Innovation, CDHE, came to the table to talk about teacher shortages and teacher preparation.  Ms. Lane reviewed the background of the teacher shortage in the state of Colorado and discussed how CDHE's Master Plan addresses the issue.  She reviewed the Colorado Teacher Cadet Program which is focused on recruiting teachers to rural parts of the state.  Ms. Lane talked about different grants and stipends that are available, including stipends and grants for rural student teachers, concurrent enrollment programs, Rural Colorado Grow Your Own Educator Grant, and Collaborative Educator Preparation Program Grants.  She discussed a number of bills that passed over the last few sessions that created programs, partnerships, and grants to address the teacher shortage.  Ms. Lane responded to questions from the committee concerning student teachers, early childhood development programs, teacher recruitment, incentives for teachers and teachers, and tearcher salaries.  Attachments were distributed [Attachments A and B].

Attachment A


09:40:37 AM  

Ms. Lane discussed a legislative recommendation to implement a tax credit for early childhood development professionals and organizations.

09:45:00 AM  

Committee members made comments concerning the teacher shortage, teacher salaries, and the societal mind set of becoming a teacher.

09:08:27 AM
Representative Buckner called the meeting to order and welcomed the audience and committee members.

The Employer’s Landscape for Early Childhood - Committee Discussion Only

09:59:02 AM  

Gloria Higgins, President, Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC), came to the table to talk about the business community's involvement in early childhood development.  She stated that EPIC educates, equips, engages, and energizes the business community to support early childhood and workplace initiatives.  They support communities as they identify child care issues and ways in which the business community can lend its support.  She discussed their current work in Mesa County.  Ms. Higgens responded to questions concerning workplace childcare centers.

10:20:22 AM  

Laura Love, Founder, Ground Floor Media, explained how she developed a family-friendly culture in her business.  She discussed how she implemented policies and benefits that support her employees and enable them to take the time to take care of their children and family life.  She spoke about the success of implementing these benefits.

10:27:57 AM  

Rusty Gonzales, CEO, St. Andrews Construction Service Corp, spoke on the impact that the lack of childcare availability for his employees has on his business.  He mentioned that he has a very flexible time off policy for childcare, but it affects his productivity.  Mr. Gonzales responded to questions concerning possible solutions or programs that could be implemented that would help companies like his and how to better advertise programs that are already available.

10:41:17 AM  

David Hammond, Board Vice Chair, EPIC, discussed the work Larimer County's business community is doing to address childcare shortages.  He stated that a task force was formed to discuss workforce needs.  They concluded that childcare was a problem that needed to be addressed and, specifically, found that availability and affordability of childcare was an issue.  He explained that a new task force was created to look into options and make recommendations to address the issue of childcare.  The task force is headed by the Ft. Collins Chamber of Commerce and the child care industry.  Mr. Hammond responded to questions concerning public and private funding, state investment, preliminary solutions, and other possible partnerships.

Early Identification of Children with Dyslexia - Committee Discussion Only

11:01:48 AM  

Laura Mitchell and Lindsay Drakos, representing Colorado Kids Identified with Dyslexia, came to the table for their presentation.  Ms. Drakos discussed what dyslexia is and the effects it has on an individual.  She told her family's story of having two dyslexic daughters and their struggles with school and identification.  Ms. Drakos discussed a few statistics of dyslexia including that 108,600 or 12 percent of Colorado students are dyslexic.  She stated that 91 percent of educators with a Bachelor's degree said that they are not prepared to teach students with dyslexia to read and that there is a lack of a targeted long term plan to help kids with dyslexia.  A handout was distributed [Attachment C].

11:25:53 AM  

Ms. Mitchell spoke about existing Colorado laws including House Bill 08-1223 and the READ Act.  She stated that dyslexia is still a prominent problem in our schools and isn't getting enough attention.  She discussed a number of legislative opportunities including a clear definition of dyslexia, educator awareness, requiring a universal/ comprehensive dyslexia screener, comprehensive training and professional development, a statewide dyslexic plan, and a widespread community awareness campaign.  Ms. Mitchell responded to questions concerning what schools are doing to address this problem, and specific legislative opportunities for early childhood groups.

Bill Draft Requests - Committee Discussion Only

11:53:33 AM  

Julie Pelegrin, Office of Legislative Legal Services, and Anna Gerstle, Legislative Council Staff, discussed the bill draft request process. The committee discussed the following bill draft proposals. 


1) Senator Merrifield requested a bill to provide funding for early childhood development teach program.  Kathryn Harris, President, Qualistar, and Evie Hudak, Hudak Consulting, came to the table to discuss the bill draft proposal and described the Colorado Teach Program.

2) Representative Buckner requested a bill addressing the International Building Codes to support childcare home providers. Bill Jaeger, Colorado Children's Campaign, came to the table to discuss the possible bill request in more detail and responded to committee questions.

3) Senator Merrifield requested a bill that raises awareness on safe fire arm storage and mentioned a possible inclusion of other hazardous materials in the household.

5) Senator Merrifield requested a bill to ban suspension and expulsion in grades P-3.

The committee discussed ways to strengthen HB 08-1223.

6) Representative Wilson requested a bill to address early childhood dyslexia screening.

7) Senator Priola requested a bill concerning full day kindergarten.

8) Representative Wilson requested a bill concerning the teacher cadet program and the early childhood teacher shortage.

9) Senator Merrifield requested a bill to implement a tax credit for preschool teachers and early childcare providers.

10) Senator Merrifield requested a bill to continue the funding for early childhood councils.

11) Representative Buckner requested a bill for funding for Family Resource Centers.

12:40:05 PM
Motion Motion to draft all bills as proposed
Martinez Humenik
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  

12:48:20 PM
Motion Substitute motion to remove draft proposal #3 and to draft 10/11 proposed draft bill requests.
Moved Priola
Seconded Martinez Humenik
Martinez Humenik Yes
Merrifield No
Pettersen Excused
Wilson Yes
Priola Yes
Buckner No
YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS

Public Testimony - Committee Discussion Only

12:50:21 PM  

Karin Johnson, representing CO KID, testified in support of addressing dyslexia issues in early childhood settings.

12:52:39 PM  

Audrey Drakos, representing herself, spoke in support of addressing issues facing the dyslexic community.

12:57:45 PM  

Cali Nichols, CO KID, testified in support of addressing dyslexia in early childhood settings.

12:59:31 PM  
Amy Dobrony, representing herself, testified in support of legislative opportunities to address issues facing the dyslexic community.
01:09:02 PM  
Committee members made final comments.
01:14:02 PM  
Joy Buckner, came to the table to tell her story and testify in support of supporting dyslexic issues.

01:19:54 PM   Committee Adjourned

Email addresses for the Colorado legislature have changed from the domain to the domain on December 1, 2022. Details
The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause (unless otherwise specified) is August 7, 2023. Details
The 2023 Ballot Information Booklet (Blue Book) is now available. Details