By an 8-5 margin, yesterday
the Colorado House Education Committee voted to end discrimination against
private-school students in the state's Colorado Opportunity Funding (COF)
program. Although not a final victory for these students in their pursuit of
equal-opportunity state funding, for the first time ever the imbalance of the
situation has been officially recognized.
For years, Colorado college
students attending schools within the state have received a modest annual
stipend through COF, yet private-school students among them are traditionally
awarded exactly one-half the amount of peers at state schools.
Representative Carol Murray's new bill (HB 1168), recommended by the Committee
yesterday afternoon, says all Colorado college students should be treated
equally in the distribution of those funds.
"This is a basic
fairness issue," commented CCU President Bill Armstrong in support of the move.
"It's not ideological, not political -- just fair play."
bill speaks potentially good news for CCU students, a climb is yet ahead --
students can only participate if they are Pell Grant eligible. Furthermore, the
bill may not make it all the way through the legislative process in 2011.
For now, it does have a strong chance of passing in the House in the
next few days, setting the stage for future progress. And that's a move in the