The annual daylong cavalcade of Colorado colleges kicks off at 9 a.m. today before the Joint Budget Committee.
For most budget hearings, the agency director and aides show up to answer legislators’ questions.
Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, who’s also director of the Department of Higher Education, and Colorado Commission on Higher Education leaders, will be in the witness chairs this morning. But the format of this hearing also provides time for individual college presidents and trustee leaders to pitch to the committee and take questions. So it’s a full day, ending at 5 p.m. but with a break for lunch.
The session’s in room LSB-A on the ground floor of the Legislative Services Buildings, 200 E. 14th Ave. If you’d like to listen, there’s an audio link on this page.
What’s on tap:
The December quarterly revenue forecasts will be unveiled at 9 a.m. by economists from the Legislative Council and the executive branch Office of State Planning and Budgeting. It’s the last forecast before the legislature convenes Jan. 11, so Tuesday’s good or bad news will set the direction for budget discussions during the first part of the session. Same local and audio link as the higher education hearing.
The State Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting “to consider and vote on pending litigation,” presumably whether to appeal the judge’s recent decision in the Lobato case. The board is a defendant. Background
Board members are meeting by phone, starting at noon, and part of the meeting will be in closed executive session. You can listen to the public portions at this link.
Good reads from elsewhere:
A statewide task force in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register, will study extending the amount of time students spend in the classroom. Options include extending the school year by at least 10 days, lengthening school days and requiring Saturday or summer classes for students that struggle. Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass has told an advisory council of Iowa superintendents that creating a task force to look at extending classroom time would be part of a legislative proposal of education reforms because of repeated requests from Iowans at town hall meetings this fall. Story
A non-profit organization in Indianapolis has submitted a plan for complete restructuring of the school district, according to WISH-TV. The Mind Trust – an Indianapolis group that studies ways to heighten education in urban districts – spent 18 months looking into under-performance in Indianapolis Public Schools. The bold plan reallocates $188 million a year to schools without raising taxes. The new plan calls for a reduction in the size of the central office, which currently employs 512 people. By reducing the responsibilities of the central office, and thereby reducing staff, the central office budget could be reduced to $10 million, which would produce a savings of $43 million for the district. Story