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CEA Media Release: Solid Victories and Missed Opportunities Highlight the 2022 Legislative Session

Posted on: May 12, 2022
Posted By: CEA Communications
Posted in: Press
Tagged: Accountability System, Education Funding, Legislative Session

CONTACT
Frank Valdez
Colorado Education Association
fvaldez@coloradoea.org
(720) 372-8888 Cell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2022

Solid Victories and Missed Opportunities Highlight the 2022 Legislative Session
CEA now turns attention to 2022 midterm elections

DENVER – With the 2022 Legislative Session in the books, the 39,000 members of the Colorado Education Association played a key role in advancing consequential legislation that improved the lives of Colorado students and educators this session. The session fell a bit short in some areas but overall, public education in Colorado is better today than it was in 2021.

“We had a bold agenda when we published our State of Education report in December and we definitely improved the lives of Colorado students and educators as we end this session,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association. “Did we achieve everything we set out to achieve? No but we made significant progress with evaluations, educator privacy, shoring up PERA and significantly buying down the Budget Stabilization Factor. We made significant strides and every one of our 39,000 members made a difference.”

Among key victories by the union this year was a significant buy down of the Budget Stabilization Factor to its lowest level in well over a decade to $321 million, with the real promise of buying it completely down by 2024. This was one of CEA’s main priorities heading into the session as a graduating senior in 2022 had never seen a fully funded public education system.

Other key victories include House Bill (HB) 22-1029, Compensatory Direct Distribution to Public Employees’ Retirement Association, which recommit the state’s 2020 missed payment into the PERA system of $225 million and an additional $155 million as a pre-payment. SB22-069, Learning Disruption Effect on Teacher Evaluation, which provides educators a two-year grace period against high stakes testing being used against their evaluations and ensures that educators are not held accountable for poor academic growth measures resulting from the pandemic emergency. SB22-070, Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade Licensed Personnel Performance Evaluations, is the result of the Governor’s 2019 stakeholder process and represents a compromise reform. While it does not go as far as CEA and many members would like, this bill does reduce the percentage of an educator’s evaluation that can be based off of student growth measures from 50% to 30%, as well as provides modified evaluation rubrics and additional resources for districts, among other things. SB 22-137, Transition Back to Standard K-12 Accountability makes adjustments to the school accountability system to make sure hundreds of schools aren’t unfairly placed on the accountability clock due to insufficient data. Finally, SB22-171, Privacy Protections for Educators protects educators from doxing, the release of educators’ personal, identifiable information on the internet, by members of the public. It will also prohibit school districts from releasing the dates of sick leave taken by educators to address situations like what happened in Douglas County.

“We’re disappointed that K-12 wasn’t a part of this year’s attempt at a statewide collective bargaining bill but we will continue to make that a priority for all of Colorado’s public workers,” said Baca-Oehlert. “We can, however, hold our heads high in knowing that we significantly improved the lives of Colorado students, their families and educators in 2022. We’d like to carry this momentum into the fall election cycle where we will work tirelessly to elect pro-public education candidates to help us make more of an impact in the 2023 Legislative Session.”

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About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is the voice of 39,000 educators, working together in a strong union to ensure all students get the exceptional public schools they deserve, in every neighborhood across the state. As Colorado’s largest labor union, CEA works collectively with all education stakeholders to ensure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.

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