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Rise & Shine: The number of students in Colorado is growing but not by much

Good morning!

Today is the first day of the 2018 legislative session, and state lawmakers are poised to debate a host of education issues over the next several months. For all the details, check out our recent legislative preview story.

In other news, the state education department released official enrollment counts for this school year – and they show that while Colorado's student population is growing, that growth is slowing.

Also in today's roundup: An essay from a Denver teacher who's spent years fighting for transportation for her students, a new study that puts a price tag on charter school expansion, and what we know about Oprah's education outlook.

– Melanie Asmar, reporter

SLOWING GROWTH Colorado’s student population grew again in the fall of 2017, but by the smallest numbers since 1989. The biggest increases were in charter and online schools. Chalkbeat

FIRST PERSON I’ve spent years fighting for buses for at-risk high schoolers in Denver. Here’s what’s at stake. Chalkbeat

CHOICE AND CONSEQUENCES As charter schools have expanded, critics across the country have offered a similar complaint: they drain money from public school districts. A new study puts a price tag on it. Chalkbeat

2020 President Winfrey? Here’s what we know about Oprah’s education outlook. Chalkbeat

REIMAGINING SCHOOL School hasn’t changed in a generation. These Colorado educators want to upend that. Colorado Public Radio

ENROLLMENT DECLINE Manitou Springs has recorded the largest drop in student enrollment in the Pikes Peak region – a decline attributed to a change in city policy that restricts the amount of time homeless people can live in motels. Gazette

OPINION The Denver Post editorial board is pushing for lawmakers to spend the bulk of the state’s growing revenue on transportation, though they say there should be money for other priorities, too – including K-12 education. Denver Post

MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION A Colorado lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would require schools to teach the history, culture, and contributions of American Indians, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans. 9News

ADMIN SHAKEUP The Grand Junction school district superintendent rolled out a sweeping new leadership plan that will cut at least 24 positions and reassign most of the remaining jobs. Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

‘BEST’ GRANT The Morgan County School District is planning to apply for another state ‘BEST’ Grant, a grant program partially funded by marijuana tax revenue, to improve high school security and accessibility. Fort Morgan Times