DPS Board of Education Statement on Assessments & Funding Priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session

In acknowledging the difficulty the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present to our school staff, students, and families, the Denver Public Schools’ Board of Education calls on Governor Jared Polis, the State Board of Education, and the Colorado General Assembly to urge the Colorado Commissioner of Education and Department of Education to submit an application to the federal government to waive required standardized assessment. In DPS, we’re focused on building a system that’s designed to help every student thrive and in doing this we are prioritizing the physical and mental health of students, teachers and staff due to the physical, emotional and academic impact of the pandemic.


The pandemic has set back learning for all students, especially students of color, students who receive Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL), students who are English Language Learners, and students with disabilities. Given the scope of learning so far and the limitations of the remote environment, we will need to utilize our capacities and resources to determine our students’ needs and provide them with additional learning opportunities. Denver Public Schools is taking a multi-faceted approach to re-envision education focused on acceleration rather than remediation.


The impact of the pandemic has caused our district to focus on engaging Denver families to re enroll their students in DPS. We ask the Colorado Legislature to allow a one-time distribution outside of the School Finance formula to hold school funding steady for this fiscal year so that we can continue to focus on providing the resources needed to help our students and educators overcome the challenges of this pandemic. 


Thank you.

President, Carrie A. Olson, PhD

Vice President, Jennifer Bacon

Secretary, Tay Anderson

Treasurer, Angela Cobián

Director, Barbara O’Brien, PhD

Director, Scott Baldermann

Director, Rev. Brad Laurvick