Meghan Lukens: House District 26, our first bill was signed into law |

Meghan Lukens: House District 26, our first bill was signed into law

Meghan Lukens
Legislative update
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signs House Bill 23-1064.
Courtesy photo

One of the top concerns that I hear from constituents is education, and as a former teacher myself, I have seen firsthand the state of our underfunded education system.

In our rural schools, we struggle to fill open positions. The greatest impact of these open positions is on the students. The number one determining factor to student success is the teacher in the classroom. That is why we need to support our high-quality teachers to stay in our classrooms, and why we need to ensure that open positions are getting filled as soon as possible.

This is a complex problem that will need a multitude of solutions, but I am proud to be a sponsor of a bill that takes an important step toward addressing the teacher shortage. HB23-1064 is a bill that establishes Colorado as part of the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact.

The current teacher licensure system is complex and difficult to navigate. When a teacher wants to move from another state to Colorado, they have to jump through many hoops to change their licensure to match the requirements in Colorado. This burdensome process costs money and takes time, discouraging teachers from coming to our state.

However, the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact streamlines the process for high-quality teachers to transfer their credentials between participating states.

HB23-1064 is a bill that creates opportunity. It provides the opportunity for out-of-state teachers to move to Colorado to fill open positions. This opportunity will empower teachers and military families to make the decision to move here without additional barriers and obstacles. Thus, with greater opportunity, we will make progress in eliminating the teacher shortage in Colorado.

On March 10, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact into law!

While the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact offers an effective solution to the education crisis, there are many more solutions that need to be created and problems that need to be addressed. This is why I will continue to work on and support legislation that addresses our education crisis.

SB23-094, another bill that I am sponsoring, creates a Colorado school transportation modernization task force that would report on the state of school transportation. The bill aims to bring transportation to communities of color, under-resourced communities, and rural communities to increase educational equity.

Our goal moving forward is always to invest as much as we can in public education. To help improve our student’s math performance, HB23-1231, a bipartisan bill, just passed its first committee, which will incorporate multiple evidence-informed strategies into schools, after-school programs, and educator training.

Our education system is complex and multifaceted, which is why we need complex and multifaceted solutions. Education is comprised of teachers, counselors, social workers, nurses, bus drivers, food service workers, paraprofessionals, mechanics, security guards, custodians, maintenance workers, office professionals, and everyone who makes up the diverse and vital fabric of our public school system, and it is important that we listen to their experiences and needs.

Last session, HB22-1390 increased the total funding for public schools by $431 million to $8.4 billion and reduced the Budget Stabilization Factor by over $180 million to the lowest level since it was created. We need to continue to build upon this work because while Colorado’s education system may be in crisis, educators are dedicated and passionate — they show up each day to provide every student with the learning experience they deserve regardless of the challenges.

We need to increase funding in a sustainable way so that districts have the certainty they need to increase pay and use those dollars with maximum impact. Increases in funding should go to increasing teacher pay and hiring and retaining good teachers, which requires a sustained year-over-year investment.

As we begin to work through the State Budget as an entire legislative body, I will continue to advocate for an increase of per pupil funding and a buy down of the Budget Stabilization Factor. Following this process, we will work through the School Finance Act, during which I will continue to uplift the need for rural school funding.

Working on education issues, among many others that I am prioritizing, makes me excited to go to the Capitol each morning. I love my job because each and every day, I can be an advocate for the people who live and work in House District 26. Our unique Western Slope communities are front of mind as I work to sponsor and vote on legislation.

The best part of my job is the people who I have the honor of representing. Every day I meet with and talk with constituents. From face-to-face meetings at the Capitol, discussions over zoom, and direct email conversations, my goal is to be in constant contact with you. Hearing your views on issues that matter and bills that will impact you helps me make the best decisions that I can for our communities.

Please contact me at with comments, concerns, and questions.

Also, send me an email if you would like to be added to my newsletter for more frequent legislative updates.

Let’s keep and touch and keep passing bills that make a difference. Onward!

Rep. Meghan Lukens
Courtesy photo

Rep. Meghan Lukens represents District 26, which includes Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Eagle counties, in the Colorado House.

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