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I_I_SchoolReadiness_2019A 09/18/2019 09:05:10 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
INTERIM COMMITTEE  EARLY CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL READINESS
Date 09/18/2019
Attendance
Court X
Hill A
McCluskie X
Wilson X
Sirota X
Story X
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Time 09:05:10 AM to 01:42:52 PM
Place SCR 357
This Meeting was called to order by Senator Story
This Report was prepared by Rachel Kurtz-Phelan
Hearing Items Action Taken
Full-day Kindergarten Implementation and the Colorado Preschool Program Committee Discussion Only
Updates from the Denver Preschool Program Committee Discussion Only
Updates from the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing Committee Discussion Only
Lunch Break Committee Discussion Only
Public Comment Committee Discussion Only
Bill Draft Requests Committee Discussion Only

Full-day Kindergarten Implementation and the Colorado Preschool Program - Committee Discussion Only


09:06:43 AM  
Senator Story, chair, called the meeting
to order and invited the presenters to the table: Anji Gallanos, Director,
Preschool through 3rd Grade (P-3) Office, Colorado Department of Education
(CDE), and Floyd Cobb, Executive Director, Teacher and Learning Unit, CDE.
 They distributed a handout (Attachment A) and discussed several of
the department's strategic activities, including all students reading by
3rd grade, improving schools, postsecondary attainment, and closing the
achievement gap.  Dr. Cobb explained the other strategic future goals,
including implementing full-day kindergarten, promoting and developing
high quality, evidence-based early learning and literacy strategies, expanding
professional development, and strengthening partnerships.  Dr. Cobb
answered questions from the commission.
09:15:11 AM  
Ms. Gallanos provided background information
on the P-3 office, which is set up to support vertical alignment between
early childhood systems and K-3 systems.  She discussed the diffrent
components of the office, which include Child Find, Colorado Preschool
Program Special Education, Kindergarten School Readiness, P-3 Literacy
and the Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act, and Data &
Decisions Sciences.  Ms. Gallanos and Dr. Cobb answered questions
about kindergarten readiness assessments.
09:26:59 AM  
Ms. Gallanos reviewed legislation passed
in 2019 impacting preschool and Early Childhood At-risk Enhancement (ECARE)
slots, spoke about how many schools moved to full-day kindergarten this
year from half-day kindergarten, and discussed how support is being provided
by CDE to districts for full-day kindergarten implementation.  These
supports are: district input, surveys, staff support, professional development
for principals through full-day kindergarten "academies," and
statewide presentations.  Ms. Gallanos provided information about
the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) which began in 1988 to provide funding
for up to 29,360 at-risk children annually for preschool education.  She
spoke about the transition of ECARE slots used for half day kindergarten
to full day preschool, and about why some districts returned additional
ECARE slots to CDE to reallocate to other districts.
09:43:42 AM  
Ms. Gallanos reviewed statistics pertaining
to the achievement rate of children who participate in CPP.  Ms. Gallanos
and Dr. Cobb answered additional questions about CPP around parental involvement,
risk factors that must be present in order to be eligible for CPP, and
unmet need.  Ms. Gallanos answered questions about the difference
between CPP slots and ECARE slots and how each are funded, and said that
CDE estimates that approximately 97 percent of eligible kindergarteners
are currently enrolled in full-day kindergarten as opposed to the previous
rate of 84 percent.



Updates from the Denver Preschool Program - Committee Discussion Only

10:01:17 AM  
Senator Story invited Elsa Holguin, President
& CEO of the Denver Preschool Program (DPP), to come to the table and
begin her presentation.  A copy of her presentation as well as several
handouts she distributed can be found as Attachments B, C, and D.  Ms.
Holguin provided background information on DPP, which is a taxpayer funded
initiative that provides preschool tuition credits for all four year olds
in Denver, regardless of family income.  She reviewed the strategic
priorities of the program and how the tuition credits work, and explained
that 65 percent of participants are enrolled in a Denver Public Schools
preschool, 22 percent are enrolled in a community-based preschool, and
one percent are enrolled in an in-home preschool.  She said that 69
percent of participants are children of color and 59 percent are children
in the highest two risk categories in terms of poverty.  Ms. Holguin
told the commission members that DPP focuses on quality initiatives and
core values, which include intentional teaching, highly effective teachers,
and positive teacher-child interactions.  She explained how to measure
high quality, and discussed the importance of quality improvement resources
to invest in programs, teachers, and directors.
10:14:48 AM  
Ms. Holguin discussed the kindergarten
readiness evaluation, which measures pre-academic, social-emotional development,
and executive function, and follows children throughout the year to measure
growth.  Ms. Holguin answered questions from the commission.  She
discussed other types of public preschool funding streams at the federal,
state, and local levels, as well as budget disruptors.  She explained
that many changes and challenges are facing the early childhood arena,
including workforce challenges in the early child care workforce, increasing
housing costs, full-day kindergarten, gentrification, the potential of
universal pre-kindergarten, the Preschool Development Grant, raising minimum
wage, and a decrease in the number of four year olds in Denver.  She
reviewed a new DPP initiative called the Gap Scholarship, which is a scholarship
aimed at addressing affordability for Denver's lowest income families,
providing an additional layer of support beyond the tuition credit scale,
and providing a learning opportunity for how to leverage the program in
order to provide more access to high quality preschool for all families
in Denver.



Updates from the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing - Committee Discussion Only


10:44:42 AM  
Senator Story invited Tom Massey, Deputy
Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and
Financing (HCPF), to begin his presentation, which can be found as Attachment
E.  Mr. Massey spoke about Health First Colorado, the new name for
the state's Medicaid program, as well as the mission and purpose of the
department.  He talked about enrollment in Health First Colorado,
which currently has 503,321 children enrolled, a decrease from prior years,
as well as the 79,255 children currently enrolled in Child Health Plan
Plus (CHP+).  He answered questions from the commission about outreach
and the statewide goals of the program, which are that children start school
ready to learn, supporting families at the earliest opportunity, and maintaining
necessary programs and services that work together to support healthy child
development and school readiness.  He spoke about the Aligning Early
Childhood and Medicaid (AECM) grant, as well as the importance of school-based
health centers, behavioral health integration, and increasing the school
counselor corps.



Lunch Break - Committee Discussion Only


11:14:38 AM  
The commission recessed for lunch.



Public Comment - Committee Discussion Only


12:40:25 PM  
The commission came back to order.  Senator
Story opened the meeting for public comment.  Lisa Roy, Executive
Director of Early Childhood, Denver Public Schools, came to the table to
provide her testimony and answer questions from the commission members.



Bill Draft Requests - Committee Discussion Only


12:50:29 PM  
Jane Ritter, Office of Legislative Legal
Services, and Anna Gerstle, Legislative Council Staff, reviewed the process
to request bills drafts.  They answered questions from the commission.
12:55:10 PM  
The commission discussed ideas for bill
drafts.  Representative Sirota presented a request to draft a bill
to look comprehensively at education and career pathways and strategies
to support early childhood educators and providers.  She suggested
six areas to explore, including increasing the number of credentialed early
childhood teachers; increasing funding for people pursuing credentials
in early childhood education; identifying and recruiting mentor teachers;
streamlining credentials between early childhood education and K-12 licensure;
expanding apprenticeships; and streamlining requirements and paperwork
for child care centers.


01:00:41 PM
Motion Draft bill on early childhood education career pathways.
Moved Sirota
Seconded
Court
Hill Absent
McCluskie
Wilson
Sirota
Story
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  1   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
01:00:41 PM  
Representative McCluskie discussed two
bill draft ideas.  The first is to include the early childhood mental
health consultant structure into statute by defining what the structure
looks like, expanding the number of early childhood mental health consultants,
determining the necessary credentialing and expertise, and focusing on
data, outcomes, and evaluation for such a program.  Representative
McCluskie answered questions.


01:13:47 PM
Motion Draft bill on defining and expanding the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program.
Moved McCluskie
Seconded
Court
Hill Absent
McCluskie
Wilson
Sirota
Story
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  1   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
01:13:48 PM  
Representative McCluskie explained her
second bill draft request to incentivize early child care providers to
move from a level one or two in the Colorado Shines system into a level
three, four, or five, and helping those providers currently rated level
three, four, or five maintain their quality and rating.  She answered
questions.  Kristi Koltiska, Executive Director of the Early Childhood
Education Association of Colorado, came to the table to answer questions.



01:23:03 PM
Motion Draft bill on incentivizing quality in early childhood education and care providers.
Moved McCluskie
Seconded
Court
Hill Absent
McCluskie
Wilson
Sirota
Story
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  1   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
01:23:05 PM  
Representative Wilson presented a bill
draft request to provide outreach and information on available early child
care resources to people in Family, Friend, and Neighbor care networks
(FFNs).  He answered questions from the commission members.



01:41:27 PM
Motion Draft bill establishing the HOME Act.
Moved Wilson
Seconded
Court
Hill Absent
McCluskie
Wilson
Sirota
Story
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  1   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection


01:42:52 PM   The committee adjourned.