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HB23-1235
Universal Preschool

Stand up for Parent Choice and Mixed Delivery for ALL children!

Here are the cliff notes:

  •  Preschool programs. Proposition EE provides funding for expanded preschool,  including at least ten hours per week of free preschool for every child in their final year before kindergarten. A portion of the additional sales tax revenue from the  minimum cigarette price is also used for this purpose.

  • Currently, the Colorado Preschool Program funds 29,360 half-day preschool slots for three- and four-year-old children who are from low-income families, in need of  language development, or who meet certain criteria indicating they may be in danger of falling behind in school. About 9,000 low-income students also have access to  preschool through federal Head Start programs. The measure requires that the new  funding be used to offer at least 10 hours per week of free preschool to every child in  their final year before kindergarten. This is expected to begin in the 2023-24 school year. Any remaining revenue must be used to expand preschool opportunities for  low-income families and children at risk of not being ready for kindergarten.

  • Providing access to free preschool gives all children the same foundation before entering kindergarten. Currently, half of Colorado three- and-four-year-olds do not attend any type of preschool. High quality preschool is shown to improve educational, economic, and health outcomes throughout a child’s life, including higher wages, higher graduation rates, and fewer criminal convictions. Access to preschool also supports working parents by giving them the option to enroll their children in up to ten hours per week at no cost.

For the full Blue Book Text:

https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/initiative%2520referendum_2019-2020%20hb%2020-1427bb.pdf

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Families

math algorithm is determining where your child can go to preschool.  Currently, for many, programs that your child has been attending for years are showing up in the system as being closed regardless of how many spaces they have available listed in the system.   If that happened to you, you received an email that the program has no slots available and need to select a new program.  You are a part of 13.9% of families who did not get their first choice.

  • Do NOT allow a computer equation decide where your child goes to school next year!

       Three year old children are ONLY being allowed to attend 10 hours of Free Preschool at Public School settings.  ​

  • Do NOT allow the government to limit your choices on where your child's preschool education can come from!

       Prop EE promised "at least 10 hours per week of free preschool to every child in their final year before       

       kindergarten".  ​

  • Families that are choosing to delay their child's start in kindergarten are being denied the opportunity to access free preschool based on an administrative decision.

  • The UPK system told many families that their first choice had no spaces when they in fact did.

 

Children who have the slightest need for an IEP are being pulled from Community based programs into the Public School system. 

  • Let the Colorado legislature know that your child's needs can be met in the program of your choice!  Services have been offered in community based programs for decades.  Programs can continue to support families this way without needing to pull the children into the public school system at such a young age.

  • There might be a cost savings to families but the social emotional impact on the children being shuttled around to yet another environment will be felt later.  You cannot undermine secure attachments without creating a negative effect for children.

Programs

ECEA has said from day one that a carve out for school districts to serve 3-year-olds creates the foundation for state funding to be applied in a way that creates unfair market advantages for government run programs (public schools).  

 

Providers of all types are running into significant system issues.  

  • ​Inability to move a child to a new location if it's better for a family and the program. (ie., offers more hours that they qualify for or is closer to the family).    

  • Inability to deny a family that failed to pay a program in the past and has an outstanding balance.

  • Inability to deny a family who's child has been declined services by the program in the past due to behavior issues.

  • Families assigned to programs who reside 3 hours away.+

 

Other issues include the CDEC request to change the timeline for TRAILS background abuse/neglect checks to 20 days instead of 10 days.  ​

  • They state that this is needed on occasion because of the number of out of state requests that they get and that it is not likely to change anything for in state providers.  If that's the case, we ask that they change the request to 20 days for out of state requests but leave it at 10 days for in state, ensuring that businesses remain supported, especially in times where staffing is so extremely difficult.  

  • Legislators need to know what the impacts of this change could be on your business!  This CDEC request is not a technical clean up or clarification as they claim but is instead a significant change with potentially detrimental impacts on your program.

What can be done?

Contact Your Legislator and let them know about your experience.  This can be done via email, a phone call or a visit.  They are normal people who need to hear about what's happening so that they can make the necessary changes.  Your requests can be considered "clean up" because they are within the parameters of what Prop  EE promised to parents.

 

Learn the names of your representatives: Find My Legislator | Colorado General Assembly 

1) Communicate your support or objection to bills before them, or the committees on which they sit!

If you find a particular bill that you want to support or oppose, consider creating a fact sheet.

It could include the following:

· A call to Action: Support Bill [Number] [title] ie., Amend HB 23-1235

· Background of the bill:

· A statement of the problem: This should be your description of the issues/concerns you have about this issue in your own words!

· Your proposed solution:

· A summary of the bill:

· The goal:

You can track bills of interest to you here:  

· Bill Search | Colorado General Assembly

· Bill Tracker | Colorado Governor Jared Polis

For HB 23-1235, we will be keeping this page updated!  The bill was introduced on 3/10/23 to the full house.  It has been referred to the House Education Committee.  They meet on Wednesdays "upon adjournment" and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m.  THIS BILL HAS BEEN PLACED ON THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE AGENDA FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22ND UPON AJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE.

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CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Sirota (D)

MAILING ADDRESS

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE

303-866-2910

emily.sirota.house@coleg.gov

District: 9

Counties: Arapahoe, Denver

CONTACT INFORMATION Senator Buckner (D)

MAILING ADDRESS

200 E Colfax RM 346

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE

303-866-3432

janet.buckner.senate@coleg.gov

District: 29

County: Arapahoe

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CONTACT INFORMATION Rep.McLachlan (Chair) (D)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2914

barbara.mclachlan.house@coleg.gov

District: 59

County: Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan

District: 21

County: El Paso

CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Lukens (D)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2923

meghan.lukens.house@coleg.gov

District: 26

County: Eagle, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt

CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Wilson (R)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2191

don.wilson.house@coleg.gov

District: 20

County: El Paso

CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Martinez (D)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2916

matthew.martinez.house@coleg.gov

District: 62

County: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Mineral, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache

CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Hamrick (D)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-3706

eliza.hamrick.house@coleg.gov

District: 61

County: Arapahoe, Douglas

CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Michaelson Jenet (D)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2945

dafna.michaelson.jenet.house@coleg.gov

District: 32

County: Adams

CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Young

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2929

mary.young.house@coleg.gov

District: 50

County: Weld

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CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Bradfield (R)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2946

mary.bradfield.house@coleg.gov

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CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Bacon (D)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2909

jennifer.bacon.house@coleg.gov

District: 7

County: Denver

CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Hartsook (R)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2933

anthony.hartsook.house@coleg.gov

District: 44

County: Douglas

CONTACT INFORMATION Rep. Pugliese (R)

200 E Colfax RM 307

Denver, CO 80203

CAPITOL PHONE: 303-866-2965

rose.pugliese.house@coleg.gov

District: 14

County: El Paso

What else can I do?

Thank you for taking a stand for Colorado's Children!

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