Regulations intended to implement the state’s new educator effectiveness system continued their untroubled way through the legislature Monday as the Legislative Legal Services Committee voted 9-0 to advance House Bill 12-1001 to the House floor.

Legislature 2012 logoTwo weeks ago the same panel unanimously approved the form and content of the rules (see news item). Under the terms of Senate Bill 12-191, which created the new evaluation system, the legislature has to act on approval of the regulations by Feb. 15. HB 12-1001 would authorize the rules.

Separate legislative review of the effectiveness rules was a compromise inserted into SB 10-191 in an effort to gain support. The long process of drafting the rules involved agreement by all major education interest groups, and Monday’s brief hearing provided a kumbaya moment.

Amy Spicer, representing Stand for Children and a variety of other reform and business groups, said, “The development of these rulings has been a truly collaborative process” and predicted the rules “will set a high standard for educator effectiveness nationwide.”

Diana Sirko, deputy education commissioner, and Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock and a prime sponsor of SB 10-191, made similarly glowing remarks.

Kerrie Dallman, a member of the State Council for Educator Effectiveness and president of the Jefferson County Education Association, stressed that the rules reflected the consensus decision of the council, adding, “The hardest work lies ahead of us.”

Much work does remain to be done on the evaluation system, including pilot testing in selected districts this year and next and addition of regulations on the evaluation of non-classroom educators and the appeals process for teachers who lose non-probationary status because of low evaluations.

Gun bill meets expected fate

The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Monday split on party lines to kill Senate Bill 12-025, which proposed to allow people who otherwise are allowed to carry handguns to carry them concealed without obtaining a separate concealed weapons permit.

The so-called “constitutional carry” bill is a perennial proposal by conservative Republicans but has gotten nowhere in the past. Every year there’s confusion about whether the bill would allow carrying of handguns on school grounds and college campuses.

Sponsor Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, explained that the bill wouldn’t allow the carrying of concealed weapons on public school grounds but would allow that to happen at private schools unless schools took action to ban carrying.

Neville said colleges and universities could prohibit carrying of concealed weapons. But he was corrected by legislative lawyer Richard Sweetman, who was asked to clarify the question by Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder and committee chair. Sweetman said the bill would mean anyone who was 21 or older and not a felon could carry a concealed weapon on a college campus.

After taking testimony for witnesses pro and con and having some polite discussion, the committee killed the bill on party lines, with three Democrats opposing and two Republicans supporting.

The state affairs committees in both houses are known as the “kill committees” because that’s where majority leadership assigns bill that are to be defeated before they get to the floor.

A similar measure, House Bill 12-1092, has been introduced in the Republican-controlled House. If it passes there (the GOP has only a one-vote majority), its defeat in the Senate is expected – probably in State Affairs.

Use the Education Bill Tracker for links to bill texts and status information.