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Colorado General Assembly | 200 E. Colfax Avenue | Denver, CO 80203 | 303.866.4864
FACT SHEET MEMORANDUM
HB 12-1146 Funding for Dropout Recovery Program Rep. Nikkel & Sen. Giron Staff Name: Alissa Mundt What the Bill Does: The bill would allow local education providers (LEPs) to partner with community colleges to create a dropout recovery program. Students who have dropped out of high school, or who are at risk of dropping out of high school, would be able to enroll in courses at a partner community college in order to complete their high school graduation requirements. Students ages 16-20 would be eligible for the program, and could enroll in community college courses until they complete their high school graduation requirements or until they turn 21 years old, whichever comes first. The students would be allowed to take basic skills classes regardless of their grade in high school. Students enrolled in the dropout recovery programs would still count towards the LEP's enrollment count, but the students would only attend classes at the community college. The LEP would pay the student's share of tuition for each course completed through the dropout recovery program. The amount the LEP would pay per course will be negotiated between the LEP and the partner community college. Colorado Context: In 2009, the Colorado General Assembly enacted CRS 22-14-101, creating the Office of Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement. In enacting the legislation, the CGA set a goal of reducing the high school dropout rate by half by the 2017-2018 school year. At the time, 70.7 percent of Colorado high school students were graduating high school within four years.1 In 2010, the percentage of Colorado high school students graduating “on-time” increased to 72.4 percent. National Context The Gateway to College Program, a program developed by Portland (Oregon) Community College in 2000, gives high school dropouts the opportunity to simultaneously attend high school and college. The program begins with a Foundational Term, which is focused on strengthening basic academic skills and
Press Release, Colorado Department of Education, New Federal Formula figures Four Year “On-Time” Graduation Rate for Colorado (Feb. 9, 2011) http://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/Releases/20110209gradrate.html.
preparing the students for college.2 Students who do well in the Foundational Term then transition towards taking more college courses. The program is now operating in 23 community colleges in 100 school districts and 16 states around the country, including two programs in Colorado. The program is funded through K-12 "average daily attendance" funds, even though the students are enrolled in community college courses. Students entering the program are two-to-three times more likely to receive a high school diploma than students who drop out and do not enroll in the program.3 Bill Provisions: • Allows community colleges to enter into agreements with LEPs to create dropout recovery programs. • Allows students who are at-risk of dropping out, but who are still enrolled in school, to participate in the dropout recovery program with the approval of the school where he or she is enrolled. • Permits school districts to count students who are enrolled in at least seven credits in the dropout recovery program toward the district's student enrollment, even though the student is taking all of his or her classes at the community college. • Allows students to enroll in basic skills courses, regardless of their high school grade level. • Allows students to enroll in non-basic skills classes as long as the courses count toward the student's high school graduation requirements. • Requires LEPs to pay the student share of tuition for each course completed through the dropout recovery program. The rate paid by the LEP will be negotiated between the LEP and the community college. Fiscal Impact: The fiscal impact of HB 12-1146 will significantly depend on how many students participate in the dropout recovery program. The Fiscal Note estimates that approximately 7,000 students could participate in the program. Beginning in FY 2013-2014, the bill would increase costs for school finance by $2,254,560 if 5 percent, or 352 students, took advantage of the program.4 For a school district that establishes a dropout recovery program, each re-enrolled student increases that district's funding under school finance (not accounting for the negative factor in the school finance formula). If the state pays for these students, then districts will receive additional funding. If the state does not pay, then the negative factor will increase and schools districts will face larger cuts than if the bill had not become law.
Dan Bloom, Programs and Policies to Assist High School Dropouts in the Transition to Adulthood, FUTUREOFCHILDREN.ORG, (Spring 2010), http://futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/docs/20_01_05.pdf. 3 th th Portland Community College, Nationally Recognized Gateway to College celebrates 10 year (May 25 2010), http://news.pcc.edu/2010/05/gateway-to-college-celebrates/ 4 Josh Abram, Fiscal Note: HB 12 – 1146 (Feb. 20, 2012), http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2012a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/C36A199A8DBC555487257981007F33B2?Open&file=HB1146_r1 .pdf.