The Media Literacy Implementation bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Lisa Cutter and Rep. Barbara McLachlan of the Colorado House of Representatives, fell victim to the state’s post-pandemic purge of legislation on Tuesday, May 26. Although the bill had only a small budget of $25,358, the House Education Committee voted 13-0 to kill the legislation at the request of sponsor Cutter, according to Jeff Roberts, executive director, in the Colorado Freedom of Information (CFOIC) newsletter.
HB20-1357 followed up on the 2019 law that created a Media Literacy Advisory Committee to develop recommendations on media literacy education for K-12 public schools in Colorado. That committee, on which CPW member Marilyn Saltzman served, developed a comprehensive report.
The new bill called for the Colorado Department of Education to create and maintain an online resource bank of materials and resources pertaining to media literacy. The Advisory Committee had already conducted a thorough review and compilation of resources. The bill also required the State Board of Education to review and adopt revisions that implement media literacy within reading, writing, and civics standards on or before June 30, 2021, and for CDE to respond to school districts’ requests for help with media literacy implementation ifthey had the resources. The Advisory Committee had done much of the work by providing a road map of how to revise the standards.
Rep. Lisa Cutter was quoted in the CFOIC newsletter as saying “I will do whatever I can to continue pursuing this and make sure that (media literacy) gets in the standards and that educators have the tools they need to help all of our children be critical thinkers.”
“We are disappointed the bill will not become law this year,” said Saltzman. “The Colorado Press Women board has supported these legislative efforts because media literacy is a critical part of creating an educated citizenry and an essential 21st century skill. Students today are producers and consumers of news and need tools to access, analyze, evaluate and create various forms of media. We will continue to support media literacy efforts in any way we can.”