colorado state capitol

2021 Legislative Review

Several significant bills passed this legislative session, strengthening opportunities to improve the lives of Colorado residents across the lifespan, from prenatal care to early childhood development to adult services. The Colorado Lab worked together with state and local government agencies, legislators, the Governor’s Office, research colleagues, and subject matter experts to inform this suite of legislative decision making.

DPS and Colorado Judicial Branch Partner with LINC

We’re pleased to welcome Denver Public Schools and the Colorado Judicial Branch as new partners to the Linked Information Network of Colorado (LINC). LINC was created through the Lab’s partnership with the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology to help state and local government agencies harness data to inform solutions to critical social problems.

Fostering Opportunities: Closing the High School Graduation Gap for Youth Who Experience Foster Care

Only one in four Colorado students who experience foster care during high school graduate with their class. Most interventions aimed at improving the graduation rates of foster youth are spearheaded by child welfare agencies or the judicial system with services typically ending when students exit the foster care system. Yet there is evidence to suggest that the risk for poor educational outcomes may increase after foster care ends. Fostering Opportunities is different because it is delivered by a school system and continues service until a student graduates or demonstrates sustained academic success.

Governor’s Budget Seeks Boost to Wages for ECE Workforce

The Colorado Lab is dedicated to creating actionable research. A recent effort to create a snapshot of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce, funded by the Piton Foundation and the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, was no exception. The Snapshot Report demonstrated that “high turnover in the field exacerbates the workforce shortage and hinders childcare quality,” and pointed to low pay as a contributing factor.

Concurrent Enrollment: A Pathway to Success

As the nation celebrates the class of 2020 and the resilience of graduates during a worldwide pandemic, it can be easy to forget that some students face huge challenges to high school graduation even in “normal” times. Living in foster care can make school feel like a perpetual marathon. In Jefferson County, a program called Fostering Opportunities helps them cross the finish line.