Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter today returned to his high school alma mater, Gateway High School in Aurora, to sign five education bills into law.
"These bills will improve education statewide for Colorado students, Colorado teachers and Colorado principals," said Gov. Ritter, a member of Gateway High School's first graduating class in 1974. "Together, these pieces of legislation provide pragmatic solutions to challenging problems. They are student-centered and they focus on improving student achievement for all students, regardless of their station in life or their personal circumstances."
House Bill 1204 (Peniston/Williams) creates a new board and state division to oversee instructional and administrative services for students in day-treatment centers, residential child-care facilities and hospitals.
HB 1223 (Merrifield/Williams) allows the Departments of Education and Higher Education to create technical assistance programs to help teachers intervene early with children who have literacy challenges such as dyslexia.
HB 1370 (Middleton/Bacon) creates a Colorado Counselor Corps that will deploy about 70 guidance counselors into targeted middle and high schools to help guide students through the complicated college application and enrollment process. Colorado's student-to-counselor ratio currently is among the highest in the nation at more than 500:1, more than twice the recommended ratio. 
HB 1384 (Todd/Bacon) creates a study of teacher working conditions and a pilot program to reward national board certified teachers. Colorado teachers who earn certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will be eligible for stipends of $1,600. If they teach in a "low" or "unsatisfactory" school, their stipends increase to $4,800 per year. 
HB 1386 (Merrifield/Spence) creates a "Principal Leadership Academy" to identify, recruit and train educators who have the potential to become gifted school leaders.