Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This Week
March 21 – 27, 2016 ~ Karly Malpiede Andrus
Colorado Economists Warn About Recession, Complicating Spending Fight
- The Legislative Council and the Governor’s Office have released dueling budgetary forecasts but both do agree that the severe oil and gas industry downturn combined with global economic pressures has caused a looming possibility of a recession. The March forecast issued Friday serves as the benchmark for lawmakers to craft next year’s state budget. The weakening economy will force lawmakers to find $111M more to balance this year’s budget. http://goo.gl/R81lJu
- The budget crunch will amplify the spending fight and complicate efforts of those advocating for all issues at the state level.
Denver Mayor Launches Grant Program for ideas to Improve City Police Relations
- The Mayor is asking the public for ideas on how to improve the relationship between the police department and the community. Information about the small grants for events and projects that address police relations as well as other issues of race and justice can found here: http://goo.gl/fXV3LI , applications are due April 1st. http://goo.gl/xH42kz
- This idea originated from community forums held on race relations that began in late 2014 that aimed to reset the relationship between law enforcement and the community; it shows how community input can truly inform policy and resource allocation.
Charter High School for Teenage Parents and their Kids Opens in Aurora
- New Legacy Charter School is a charter school serving pregnant and parenting teens. The school was built in eight months by Urban Land Conservancy after they worked together to locate real estate in north Aurora, where the teen birth rate is particularly high in the metro area. Nearly 100 teens and 60 of their newborns and preschoolers occupy the campus along with a staff of 28. Their capacity is 110 students and they are going to reach that capacity quicker than anticipated. http://goo.gl/Q5oCo1
- There are two similar schools in Colorado, Florence Crittenton in Denver and Passage Charter School in Montrose, but New Legacy is the first such school to include the children or students in its building and curriculum. This tale from the field shows that community partners can reframe challenges to opportunities thereby making all stronger.