Education bills parents should watch in Colorado legislature

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DENVER – At Cotton Creek Elementary School in Adams County, parents know full day Kindergarten can be a lot – as much as $300 a month.

“His parents couldn’t afford it,” Patti Soos, a grandmother and former educator said.

“I would help out,” Soos added.

But could Colorado soon be picking up the tab for all-day Kindergarten?

If State Rep. Jim Wilson, a Republican from Salida, has his way that would change. He is proposing the state pay for full day Kindergarten statewide.

“Education is always the first to be cut and the last to be refunded,” Wilson told FOX31 Denver political reporter Joe St. George.

Wilson said currently the state pays for about 58 percent of the cost of all day Kindergarten, the rest is picked up by parents and local districts.

The price tag for Wilson’s initiative is over $247 million, which is why many are skeptical his bill would pass – especially in a tight budget session.

“It’s not a factor of not having the money to spend, it’s where the legislature has chosen to spend it,” Wilson added.

But that’s not the only bill parents should be tracking this legislative session.

Leave work to attend school activities

Democratic Representative Janet Buckner has introduced a measure that would allow parents to leave work to attend academic events at their child’s school --- like a parent teacher conference.

“This would ensure parents can be involved in their children's activities,” Buckner said.

According to the bill, which is scheduled for its first hearing on Monday, parents must provide their employers with at least a week’s notice and can take no more than six hours a month or 18 hours a year.

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