Statement Regarding Special Legislative Session

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2020

Statement from Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association (CEA), on adjournment of the 2020 special Legislative Session:

“The special session convened this week is a step toward helping Colorado students, educators, families, and small businesses deal with the challenges and realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Colorado lawmakers have given some relief to many Coloradans.

“Bills that lift up Colorado’s students, families, and educators like the CEA-supported House Bill 20B-1001 “Grants to Improve Internet Access in P-12 Ed” are helpful yet there is still significant work that needs to be done to address equity and access beyond this bill. Inequities all across the state, sadly, are the norm and the COVID-19 pandemic has not only shone a spotlight on these inequities but has made them worse.

“We applaud the demise of several school voucher scheme bills that were attempted during this brief, special legislative session. Vouchers have never been proven to be effective in supporting student opportunity and these bills would have reduced public school funding at a time when our public schools need more, not less to address the COVID-19 pandemic and learning overall.

“Finally, we want to make it abundantly clear about our priorities in the Legislature moving forward: we will work with Colorado legislators to take meaningful, creative, and bold action to address the chronic underfunding of our public schools, particularly focusing on addressing the major budget cuts made in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to being able to lift up and champion legislators who prioritize educators, parents, and students by ensuring that public education is restored to pre-COVID-19 level funding in the upcoming legislative session.”

About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is a membership-based organization that represents 39,000 Colorado educators. The CEA promise to our students and communities is that the members of the Association will lead the way in guaranteeing every student access to the best public education. By working collectively with all education stakeholders, we will provide the best public education for every student and assure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.

# # #