Colorado lawmaker wants the state to offer free online classes to students

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An amended version of a bill to reverse COVID-related learning loss (SB 21-013) could provide free online classes to help Colorado students recover from learning loss.

Democratic State Sen. Rhonda Fields said she wants to make Colorado Digital Learning Solutions (CDLS) free and easily accessible to families.

“I’m trying to sure the (Colorado) Department of Education markets these resources that can help support learners in their homes, without having to go through some of the barriers that currently exist,” Fields said.

CDLS classes are provided through the Colorado Department of Education and local school districts. There are courses for all grade levels. Currently, students who register for CDLS classes must pay a portion of the cost. A planned amendment to SB 21-013 would eliminate that cost.

Fields said a lot of families aren’t even aware these courses exist.

“A lot of this work is already going on but not everybody knows about it. … So it’s putting a spotlight on it and letting parents take ownership of their kids’ learning,” she said.

Fields said she also supports intensive tutoring and summer school programs, but is concerned about funding. State lawmakers are waiting on a federal stimulus bill that’s expected to provide more resources for learning loss recovery.