News & Media

Media Release: Parental Involvement Bill dies in Senate State Affairs Committee on party line vote

Education Reform

March 9, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

March 9, 2016

Contact:  Neha Mahajan, (303) 628-0925, Neha@9to5.org

                         

                                   

Parental Involvement Bill dies in Senate State Affairs Committee on party line vote

Would have allowed parents to take time off to attend K-12 academic meetings

DENVER – This afternoon the Parental Involvement for Academic Activities (HB16-1002) died on a 3–2 party line in the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee.  After no opposition testimony in the Senate or the House, the Senate committee of five fathers would not reinstate 2009 statutes to protect the ability for hard-working Colorado families to be actively engaged in their child’s education.

 

Twelve parents, students, teachers, and community members spoke in support of this legislation, sharing experiences like what it is like to:

  • Be fired for needing to attend school meetings with their children
  • Need the legal right to back a request for time off for school meetings
  • See first-hand the positive effects in kids when involved in educational matters.

 

“One time I got sent to the principal’s office and the principal wanted to see my mom but she couldn’t come or even call,” said one sixth grader and resident in House sponsor Rep. Janet Buckner’s district. “I was sad because I know if my mom was able to come, she would have got all the kids’ stories and the truth would have come out and I would not have been suspended.”

 

This legislation would have reinstated a law that was in effect for five years. That law was passed in 2009 before  it “sunset” on September 1, 2015, when Colorado parents lost the job protections that allowed them to attend essential meetings such as Individualized Education Meetings for students with special needs.  

 

“While the Individualized Education Plan process and document are intended to be the efforts of a team, there is no single more important member of this team than the child’s parent,” said Tommie Shimrock, a Denver Public Schools special education teacher. “Parents know their children best: how to redirect their child in effective ways; why their child feels the ways that they do; and how to bring out the best in their child so they can be as successful as possible.”

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