Ballot initiative would expand Colorado's open records law to include school curriculum

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Published Thursday, March 17, 2022
by Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) - Colorado voters could get a chance to decide if school curriculum should be available to the public under the state's open records law if a recently-filed initiative is approved for the 2022 ballot.

The ballot initiative is backed by Rep. Tim Geitner, R-Falcon, and Independence Institute President Jon Caldara, according to Complete Colorado, which is published by the think tank.

The proposal comes after Geitner's House Bill 22-1066, which would have required public school districts to publicly post educational materials, was killed in the House Education Committee earlier this month.

The ballot initiative would expand the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) to require that school districts provide "all written materials and electronic resources that an educator for a local education provider uses in teaching in preschool ... through 12th grade, including but not limited to textbooks, supplemental worksheets, or texts, assigned or recommended reading materials, electronic or digital materials or other resources, and course syllabuses," Complete Colorado reported.

Geitner told Complete Colorado that Coloradans "have a right to know what their government is doing - taxpayer funded schools are no exception." 

"Transparency is necessary to inform parents and taxpayers on not just age-appropriate material, but on the rigor and focus of the next generation's leaders of our great state," he added.

The initiative still needs to be reviewed by the state's Title Board, and supporters would need 125,000 valid signatures to place it on the 2022 ballot. If it makes the ballot, the initiative will need to earn 50 percent of the vote plus one vote to pass because it's a statutory change.

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