The authoritative source on Colorado Governor Bill Ritter brought to you by the Editors at the Cherry Creek News and Denver Community Newspapers
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
GOV. RITTER RETURNS TO HIGH SCHOOL TO SIGN BILLS
Gov.Bill Rittertoday returned to his high schoolalma mater,GatewayHigh SchoolinAurora, to sign five education bills into law.
"These bills will improve education statewide forColoradostudents,Coloradoteachers andColoradoprincipals," said Gov. Ritter, a member ofGatewayHigh School's first graduating class in 1974. "Together, these pieces of legislation providepragmatic solutions to challenging problems. They are student-centered and they focus on improving student achievement forallstudents, 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.
"Effectively addressing dyslexia is one of the keys to reaching Gov. Ritter's goals of increasing the literacy rate and cutting our drop-out rate in half in the next 10 years," Rep. Mike Merrifield said. "If we are serious about developing a well-educated workforce inColoradofor strong economic development in the 21st century, we must attend to the needs of our many dyslexic students."
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.Coloradoteachers 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.
"Top flight teachers do more than teach -- they inspire, they inform, they set the bar high, and they coach our kids to go further than anyone thought possible," Rep. Nancy Todd said.
HB 1386 (Merrifield/Spence)creates a "PrincipalLeadershipAcademy" toidentify, recruit and train educators who have the potential to become gifted school leaders.
Here are the other bills Gov. Ritter signed into law today: