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Rise & Shine: How one mountain college is helping make college more affordable

Good morning and welcome to your Wednesday edition of Rise & Shine. That's right, today is Wednesday, not Tuesday. It's always hard to keep track of the days of the week after a long break and a Monday off!

Since today is Wednesday, that means it's your last day to purchase tickets to our annual legislative preview event. It's at 8 a.m., Thursday in downtown Denver and there will be a lively discussion on all the high-stakes decisions lawmakers are going to face this year. Bonus: There's no snow storm in the forecast like last year! So really, you have no excuse to not be there.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's take a minute and look at today's news roundup. See you tomorrow! — Nic Garcia, deputy bureau chief

EMPTY CALL For the first time in at least eight years, Denver Public schools isn’t calling for any specific new schools. Reasons include: slowing enrollment growth, limited money to build new schools, and rising test scores. Chalkbeat

MERITS OF MERIT PAY A new study, released by the federal government, suggests that merit-based bonuses for educators help raise student test scores — a bit — without making a significant dent in teacher morale. Chalkbeat

THEIR WAY Students, not adults, at Canon City High School applied for a state grant that would give the school a chance to  create a six-year program for students to work in internships and eventually, earn an associate degree. Canon City Daily Record

TESTING TESTING Colorado and other states have until April 2 to apply to be part of the federal government’s testing pilot program developed under ESSA. EdWeek

BARRIERS TO COLLEGE Colorado ranks 31st out of 50 in college affordability, according to a new study. And one mountain college is trying to help improve the state’s outlook. Aspen Times

FIGHTING FAKE NEWS Alarmed by the proliferation of false content online, state lawmakers around the country are pushing schools to put more emphasis on teaching students how to tell fact from fiction. AP

SAFE SCHOOLS A former high school security guard has pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and sexual assault. Denver Post