Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia were sworn in for their second terms on the Capitol’s west steps Tuesday morning, both touting the state’s economic recovery while stressing the importance of expanding those opportunities to all regions and people of the state.
Hickenlooper made two brief references to education in his 13-minute speech.
“We have been restoring funding to the state’s education budget,” Hickenlooper said. “We will continue to build … a Colorado where all of our children have access to a first-rate education regardless of zip code; where funding for higher education is transparent, fair and gets results.”
While the state is funding schools at a higher level than during the Great Recession, school superintendents are making the case they need more money. School funding is likely be a topic of ongoing debate during the legislative session.
Hickenlooper will make his annual state of the state speech to a joint session of the legislature on Thursday morning. That address will be longer and typically contains somewhat more detailed policy proposals, although education has not been a major theme of his last four state of the state speeches.
The administration’s primary education priorities have been improving early childhood education and services, full implementation of the education reforms enacted since 2008, and increasing the number of people with college degrees and professional certificates.
Read Hickenlooper’s inaugural text here. Garcia talked a bit more about education; read his prepared remarks here.
meet the candidates
These candidates are running for Detroit school board. Watch them introduce themselves.
The Chicago Police Department doesn’t adequately screen and train the officers it assigns to Chicago Public Schools, and their roles in schools are poorly defined, according to a sharply critical report released today by the Office of Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.
The report lists a litany of failings, including basic administration: There is no current agreement between the police department and the district governing the deployment of school resource officers, or SROs, and neither the schools nor the police even have a current list of the officers working in schools this year.
The inspector general’s report also mentions several sets of SRO resources and best practices created and endorsed by the federal government, then notes that Chicago hasn’t adopted any of them. “CPD’s current lack of guidance and structure for SROs amplifies community concerns and underscores the high probability that students are unnecessarily becoming involved in the criminal justice system, despite the availability of alternate solutions,” says the report.
Chalkbeat reported in August about incidents in which SROs used batons and tasers on students while intervening in routine disciplinary matters.
Scrutiny of SROs is nothing new, and is part of the broader CPD consent decree brokered this week between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. That agreement calls for better training and vetting of SROs, as well as a clearer delineation of their roles on campuses—including a prohibition against participating in routine school discipline — beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
But the report from Ferguson’s office says that the consent decree doesn’t go far enough. It chastises police for not pledging to include the community in the creation of its agreement with the school district, nor in the establishment of hiring guidelines; and for not creating a plan for evaluating SROs’ performance, among other recommendations. In addition, the report criticizes the police department for delaying the reforms until the 2019-20 school year. A draft of the inspector general’s report was given to the police department in early August in hopes that some of the issues could be resolved in time for the school year that began last week. The police department asked for an extension for its reply.