Wednesday, March 12, 2008


DENVER—Today the full Senate gave initial approval to SB08-130. Sponsored by Senate President Peter Groff (D-Denver), the bill would allow schools and school districts to innovate in their approach to improving student performance by creating Zones of Innovative Performance (ZIPs).

If schools’ applications are approved by their local board of education, they could be granted the power to control budgets, hiring, curriculum, length of the school day and teacher compensation, for example. Upon local board approval, these schools would submit the innovation plan to the State Board of Education for designation as an innovative school or zone of innovation.

The bill serves as a tool to allow schools to assess their particular needs and to remove barriers by implementing strategies based on individual school assessments.

“A status quo approach is no longer working and in fact is hindering our ability to graduate our students with the skills they need to succeed in a global economy,” said Groff. “With passage of this bill, we have new tools to improve student performance and close the achievement gap by allowing more innovation in the way we educate our kids.”

The bill will next be considered by the Senate on third and final reading.