The Jefferson County Board of Education routinely communicates with state and district legislators on their priorities about education in Jeffco.
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The Jefferson County Board of Education routinely communicates with state and district legislators on their priorities about education in Jeffco. On Jan. 9, the Board discussed a formal draft of ideas for legislative priorities to be presented to these legislators.
Board President Stephanie Schooley described how the priorities allow the Board to weigh in on legislation as it moves forward and lend a voice to the decision-making and what education priorities should be included.
One of those draft priorities is for the legislature to avoid creating new grant programs.
“These often detract districts from focusing on student learning and use resources that could be more equitably allocated to the school finance act, benefiting all districts,” according to the Board’s priorities document.
Some of those resources Ed Bowditch, a partner at Bowditch & Cassell Public Affairs and lobbyist for the Board, described as being spent on grant writers, raising the question of whether it should be the “highest priority for all districts in the state to be competing over funds.”
Other priorities included determining “what an effective K-12 education costs in Colorado and to set our expectations to that level,” rather than “assuming we can adequately educate and support students with the amount of funding available to districts.”
Superintendent Tracy Dorland described this discussion as a way to give the lobbyist a few key areas the Board cares about so as to advocate for them. The priorities list is a proactive platform, she continued, and as bills emerge there is also an opportunity for a reactive stance to those bills from the Board.
The priorities list will be put to a vote in the next Board of Education meeting, according to Schooley.
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