On Wednesday, the state’s Title Board will consider advancing four similar proposals to create an out-of-school learning opportunities agency, with different funding mechanisms proposed.
The Colorado Out-of-School Learning Opportunities Agency as described in Initiatives #168-171 would develop criteria for nonprofits administering academic enrichment, music or arts programming, skills development or technical opportunities to kids out of school.
There would be “parent-directed individual learning accounts” through gifts, grants, and donations for low-income families to apply towards the activities, although the funds would be administered by a nonprofit.
The governor would appoint eight members to oversee the agency, with input from legislative leaders.
The initiatives would pay for this new agency through either income tax credits up to $50 million per year or by limiting the amount of money companies can deduct through net operating losses, and transferring those funds to the out-of-school opportunities program. In one version, the deduction would go away entirely; in another, it would be limited to $250,000.
It is the intent of the initiatives that the funding augment, rather than supplant, current money.
The designated representatives are Amber Drevon, a former Aurora school board member, and Charles Dukes, education policy director for the Denver Office of Children's Affairs.
There are eight other initiatives pertaining to out-of-school learning, four of which have been denied titles, two of which have been withdrawn, and two that will move forward after a state Supreme Court decision on Monday.