On July 13, 2011, Parents for Choice in Education board chair Robyn Bagley shared with Colorado online educators, state officials and education experts a presentation about Utah’s groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting Senate Bill 65. With the passage of this 2011 law, her state became the first to turn the recommendations of the Digital Learning Council into a comprehensive state policy. At the heart of the new law is the principle of backpack funding, allowing state dollars to follow high school student choices to the course level — with funding based on performance. The presentation was followed by a vigorous and thoughtful discussion with an eye towards how a similar policy might work in Colorado.
The event was graciously hosted by State Board of Education member Debora Scheffel in the Colorado Department of Education Board room and sponsored by the Independence Institute. Education Policy Center director Pam Benigno led introductions.