Colorado Association of School Boards

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2013 Winter Legislative Conference

Highlights from Winter Legislative Conference

Education and legislative love was in the air at CASB’s winter legislative conference held Feb. 14-15 at The Brown Palace Hotel & Comfort Inn. After asking the 150-plus attendees to be his Valentine, keynote speaker Sen. Mike Johnston dug right into laying the framework for his proposed school finance bill - a two-year effort and the culmination of 117 public meetings and involvement from 25 stakeholders.

After thanking Sen. Johnston for “tackling a problem no one else under the Gold Dome has done before,” Jane Urschel facilitated a reactor panel to continue the school finance discussion.

Later in the conference, more than two dozen legislators turned out for the leader and legislator lunch, where special guest Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia began and ended his speech with praise to school board members for their dedication and countless hours spent tackling oftentimes emotional and contentious issues.

During the closing general session, attendees had a chance to learn about the Colorado Youth Advisory Council (COYAC) and hear firsthand from some bright young people who are helping influence legislation by testifying on bills and engaging in policy work.

Established in 2008 through a bill sponsored by Sen. Ellen Roberts, the CYAC helps legislators understand how to work with young people during the modern age and keep them informed about the important issues facing Colorado youth.

Other breakout sessions during the conference included an update on State Lands Trust and the BEST school construction grant program; a recap from CASB’s Federal Relations Network on the committee’s recent visit to the National School Boards Association conference in Washington, DC; an educational overview of the current state of school finance and the impact of the negative factor; highlights of the State Board of Education’s goals and priorities; and a discussion on the REAL Colorado initiative and legislation and regulations impacting K-12 education.

For a longer conference recap, read the Feb. 22 issue of Billboard. Several of the handouts from the conference are available below.

Session Handouts

For more on CASB's advocacy efforts, visit the Advocacy webpage.

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