Democrats Say No to Bus Rides and Teacher Bonuses

DENVER – This afternoon, Senate Democrats on the Senate Education Committee voted to move forward with legislation to eliminate transportation options for students living in poverty, alongside voting against providing bonuses for teachers for good performance.

Senate Bill 39, proposed by Democratic Senators Tammy Story and Rachel Zenzinger, reverses legislation from the 2018 session that allows school districts to pick up and drop off students that have transferred from out of their district.

“Democrats on the Education committee had a choice between empowering the bureaucracy and empowering students,” said Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs). “They chose to support bureaucracy at the expense of our most vulnerable children.”

Senate Bill 39 moved forward – along party lines. It will now head to the Senate floor for debate. Senate Bill 22, proposed by Senator Paul Lundeen (R-Colorado Springs), would have put $56 million towards rewarding and recruiting “Highly Effective Teachers.” The legislation could have paid $2,000 bonuses to about 26,000 teachers across Colorado.

Senate Bill 22 failed along party lines, despite testimony from educators that spoke in favor of the legislation and the need to reward teachers who perform above and beyond.

In response, Senator Lundeen stated: "We have a teacher shortage in Colorado. This bill could have been the turning point where we finally reward teachers with increased salary and change the culture to show we honor great teachers."

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