Updated 11:40 a.m. – The House voted 62-3 today to pass Senate Bill 11-052, the higher education performance-funding proposal.
There were no House amendments to the measure, so it goes to Gov. John Hickenlooper, whose administration has endorsed the bill.
The bill could bring important changes to the state’s higher education system – but that depends on future events that aren’t predictable.
SB 11-052 will set in motion an 18-month process of creating a new higher education master plan and a new system of performance contracts negotiated between the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and individual colleges and universities. But performance funding wouldn’t go into effect any earlier than 2016-17, and it might never kick in if a specified level of state base funding isn’t reached.
Also today, the Senate gave 34-0 final approval to House Bill 11-1301, a wide-ranging higher education flexibility bill that affects hiring, employee benefits, student fees, purchasing and construction. There was no floor discussion before Monday’s preliminary approval. But today the bill was a temporary victim of parliamentary maneuvering over congressional redistricting as minority Republicans used delaying tactics to try to force Democratic leaders to hear a House GOP redistricting bill.
The House will have to consider Senate amendments to SB 11-1301, probably on the session’s last day Wednesday.
The House Education Committee this morning voted 7-6 to kill Senate Bill 11-080, a much amended measure that would have required greater Department of Education oversight over turnaround plans at 19 of the state’s lowest performing schools.
A report on Monday action follows.
The House gave preliminary approval Monday to Senate Bill 11-052, the higher education performance-funding bill, after only the briefest of explanations by sponsors and no floor discussion.
Over in the Senate, House Bill 11-1277, the so-called “mandates” bill, received 34-0 final approval. The House will have to consider Senate amendments, which narrowed the impact of the bill somewhat.
In a year noteworthy for a lack of truly major education legislation, the two measures are the most significant in relative terms.
HB 11-1277 started out as an effort to significantly reduce Department of Education requirements and data reporting but has ended up as a more limited measure involving primarily special education, online schools and small-district accountability paperwork.
In other action Monday:
The House accepted Senate amendments and re-passed House Bill 11-1121 on a 62-2 vote. The measure would disqualify some felons from non-licensed school employment, standardizing what has been the practice of most school boards. The measure goes to the governor. (See details of bill in this story.)
The House also voted 44-21 for final passage of Senate Bill 11-076. This is the measure that continues the swap under which state government and universities pay less into the Public Employees’ Retirement Association and employees will pay more. This bill is a key part of the 2011-12 budget-balancing package.
The Senate accepted House amendments and voted 34-1 to re-pass Senate Bill 11-111, a measure that will create a study panel to look into how to improve outcomes for students moving through school transitions such as the move from middle school to high school.
The House Finance Committee passed Senate Bill 11-109, the tax check off for the Colorado Preschool Program, and Senate Bill 11-184, the tax amnesty to provide funds that will be diverted into the State Education Fund.
And, to no one’s great surprise, the Senate Business Affairs and Labor Committee postponed indefinitely Senate Bill 11-233, the bill proposing to expand video gaming at two locations to raise money for college scholarships.
Sponsor Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton, saying the idea didn’t “have traction,” asked that it be killed. The bill was seen as a way to help the state’s struggling horse racing business since the measure basically would have applied to Arapahoe Park and the State Fair in Pueblo. Proposals to expand gaming to help fund higher education have been a late-session feature in recent years, but all have died.
Use the Education Bill Tracker for links to bill texts