Colorado Allocates $24M for Schools to Support Migrant Students

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has signed a new bill into law that allocates $24 million in state funds to help Colorado schools manage the growing number of new migrant students. The bill, known as House Bill 24-1389, defines “new arrival students” as those who have moved to Colorado from another country, have been in the United States for less than a year, and are not proficient in English. The bill aims to provide these students with the necessary resources and support as they adapt to their new learning environment.

The bipartisan legislation, which had strong support in both the House and the Senate, will ensure that school districts receive the financial aid they need to accommodate the influx of new students. The bill comes in response to the strains placed on existing school infrastructure and staffing, leading to overcrowded classrooms and stretched resources.

In a statement, Gov. Polis expressed his support for the new law, commending the Joint Budget Committee for their work on the legislation. The governor emphasized the importance of providing schools and educators with the resources necessary to meet the needs of the incoming students.

The bill acknowledges that new arrival students face unique challenges such as language barriers, cultural adjustments, and varying academic backgrounds, which require specialized resources and support services. It further outlines the distribution of funds to school districts based on the number of new arrivals, ranging from $15,000 for one to five new students to $750,000 for 500 or more. Additionally, each school district or charter school will receive $4,500 for each student in the net population or the total new arrival student population, whichever is lesser.

The influx of new arrival students has placed significant pressure on school districts, with reports from Denver’s public school system highlighting the need for additional financial support to accommodate the approximately 250 new students enrolling each week. With the passing of this bill, the state aims to provide crucial financial aid to address the challenges posed by the growing population of new migrant students in Colorado schools.

Written by Staff Reports

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