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### Colorado Democrats’ Push for Education Reform Sparks Debate on Bipartisan Legacy

American Federation For Children senior fellow Shaka Mitchell expressed concerns to Fox News Digital regarding a new charter school accountability bill that could potentially jeopardize the longstanding success of education reform in Colorado. Mitchell emphasized the bipartisan support for education reform in Colorado over the years, highlighting the significant impact it has had on the state’s educational landscape. He underscored the non-partisan nature of education and the importance of addressing the unique needs of individual students.

Mitchell pointed out the historical bipartisan efforts in promoting school choice, which have positively influenced Colorado’s education system. He noted the growth of charter schools in the early 2000s as a result of embracing educational choice to cater to diverse student requirements.

However, Mitchell cautioned against the current trend aiming to impede progress by reverting to traditional zoned public schools, potentially undoing the advancements made in the past three decades. He specifically criticized the proposed legislation, HB24-1363, as a threat to Colorado’s educational legacy and the charter school sector.

The bill, introduced by Democratic lawmakers Lorena Garcia, Tammy Story, and Senator Lisa Cutter, seeks to introduce accountability measures for charter school operators, aiming to provide oversight and balance in their operations. Mitchell raised concerns about the potential negative impact of the bill on charter schools, educators, and families benefiting from alternative educational options.

Charter schools, being publicly funded yet independently operated, offer a distinct educational model compared to traditional public schools. The proposed legislation aims to introduce community representation in charter school governance and decision-making processes, ensuring parental involvement and reflecting the local demographics.

The bill also addresses issues such as teacher evaluations, facility usage, and enrollment dynamics within charter schools. It seeks to regulate charter school operations more closely, potentially limiting their autonomy in certain aspects.

Despite the success and high performance of charter schools in Colorado, Mitchell highlighted the opposition and challenges faced by these institutions from various quarters, including elected officials and teachers’ unions. He emphasized the positive impact of charter schools on student performance and the need to preserve and support their contributions to the education system.

Fox News Digital reached out to the sponsors of the bill for their input on the matter. Joshua Q. Nelson, a reporter focusing on politics and education policy, contributed to this report. Nelson, a Syracuse University graduate in Political Science, brings a wealth of experience from his previous affiliations with prominent journalism and policy organizations.