March 15, 2019

Denver, CO — The Senate voted 21-to-14 this morning to advance SB19-129, a bill sponsored by Senator Tammy Story (D-Evergreen) that would increase accountability for online schools. The bill now heads to the Colorado House of Representatives for consideration.

“As a longtime advocate for education, I am pleased the Senate has voted to advance my bill to help students attending online schools,” said Senator Story. “Every student in Colorado deserves a shot at a bright future, and that starts with a great education. Our online schools serve a portion of our students and we want to ensure their needs are being met when online schools are their choice.”

SB19-129 would require the online division of the Department of Education to report information about students who disenroll from an online school after the annual pupil enrollment and if known, where they go next. The Department of Education would summarize this information and then present it annually to the State Board of Education and the House and Senate Education Committees.

Under existing law, an online school is subject to the same accountability requirements as other public schools. The bill states that if an online school is on performance watch and changes authorizers, the online school remains on performance watch. If an online school is closed because of actions taken as a result of accountability, the online school must apply for new certification before it can operate again, either as the original online school or as a successor school, regardless of whether the online school changes authorizers. 

“This legislation will help us hold online schools accountable, ensuring that Colorado students can get the quality education they deserve,” added Senator Story.

To learn more about SB19-129, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-129.

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