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Legislative Year: 2023 Change

Bill Detail: SB23-003

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Title Colorado Adult High School Program
Status Governor Signed (06/06/2023)
Bill Subjects
  • Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
House Sponsors M. Weissman (D)
D. Wilson (R)
Senate Sponsors J. Buckner (D)
R. Gardner (R)
House Committee Education
Senate Committee Education
Date Introduced 01/09/2023

The bill creates the Colorado adult high school program (program)
in the office responsible for adult education within the department of
education (department). The purpose of the program is to create a
pathway for Coloradans who are 21 years of age or older and do not have
a high school diploma to attend high school and earn a diploma at no cost.
Students may also earn industry-recognized certificates or college credits
at no cost.
The bill requires the department to partner with a Colorado
community-based nonprofit organization (organization) to operate the
program. The department is required to select an organization to act as the
education provider for the program. The education provider is required
  • Secure and maintain a building for the program;
  • Contribute funding annually for operating and facility
  • Hire educators and school personnel, including life coaches
who help students navigate academic and personal
  • Establish an academic accountability system with the
approval of the department;
  • Establish minimum graduation requirements;
  • Award Colorado high school diplomas to students who
successfully complete the program;
  • Use an evidence-based educational model that has proven
effective through a randomized control trial or an
experimental study;
  • Develop in-person courses;
  • Develop online courses for students who take classes in
person but demonstrate academic readiness for remote
course work;
  • Consult with a nonprofit organization that has successfully
implemented an evidence-based educational model for
adults in another state;
  • Serve all students, regardless of immigration status;
  • Enroll no more than 400 students at one time;
  • Comply with state and federal laws concerning students
with disabilities, including students with accommodations
pursuant to section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act
of 1973;
  • Create individualized education programs for students with
  • Collaborate with local district colleges, community
colleges, area technical colleges, or local career and
technical education programs to ensure access to courses
that can lead students to graduate with industry-recognized
  • Fund industry-recognized certificate programs at no cost to
  • Create a plan to authorize teachers to teach courses for
college credit;
  • Operate a licensed, on-site child care center for students
with children; and
  • Offer transportation assistance to students who enroll in the
The department is required to establish a fair and transparent
request for proposal process in order to select an organization to operate
the program. The request for proposal process must include input from
the office within the department responsible for adult education.
The request for proposals must include:
  • A plan for student enrollment, including students with
  • A plan to secure and maintain a building;
  • Proposed curriculum and academic accountability
standards for a student-centered course of study that can
result in a Colorado high school diploma;
  • Evidence of the effectiveness of the evidence-based
educational model to be implemented by the program;
  • A plan to hire and maintain a staff of educators and other
school personnel;
  • Proof of access to the money annually required to sustain
the program;
  • A plan to establish and operate an on-site licensed child
care center; and
  • A plan to offer transportation services to students.
On or before July 31, 2025, and every July 31 thereafter, an
education provider is required to report to the department on the status of
the program. On or before November 30, 2025, and every November 30
thereafter, the department is required to report the status of the program
to the house of representatives education committee and the senate
education committee, or their successor committees, including but not
limited to:
  • Student demographic data disaggregated by race, ethnicity,
socioeconomic status, age, gender, and disability;
  • Accountability measure outcomes; and
  • The number of industry-recognized certificates, college
credits, and overall average credit attainment that students
earn each term.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (07/19/2023) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
  • Past bill versions
  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
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