U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner joined 17 other senators on Monday in asking the U.S. Department of Education to include in its upcoming analysis of K-12 funding the effectiveness of dual-enrollment programs.
On Dec. 26, the department announced that it would collect data beginning in September 2020 from a sample of 400 school districts to survey how federal funds are distributed to meet student needs. The senators wrote that the federal government already receives information about college credit programs for high school students, and therefore, school districts’ funding of dual-enrollment programs should be part of the study.
"Numerous rigorous, multi-institution, and statewide quantitative research studies in more than a dozen states have proven that these programs increase high school graduation, college readiness, and college access, persistence, and completion, especially for students traditionally underrepresented in higher education,” the letter reads.
Colorado defines concurrent enrollment as simultaneously participating in the K-12 system as well as taking at least one academic, technical or apprenticeship course at a higher learning institution. School districts pay a per-pupil rate to the college where the student takes his or her course. As of the 2017-2018 school year, 98% of districts offered college course credit for high school students, with nearly 31,000 students participating. Participating students each earned eight credit hours on average.