Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
The Honorable Colorado House of Representatives
Sixty-Fifth General Assembly
First Regular Session
Denver, CO 80203
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am returning to the House of Representatives House Bill 1255, "Concerning Tuition for the Excess Costs Incurred in Educating a Child with Disabilities." I vetoed this bill as of 9:57 a.m. today, and this letter sets forth my reasons for doing so.
Colorado is a state that proudly offers an array of choices in education for all children, including the important option of choosing schools outside their district of residence. House Bill 1255 unfairly burdens schools of choice that provide an education to children with special needs outside of their district of residence. This bill would force those schools to absorb the excess costs of special education classes for children who do not receive 60 percent or more of their education in special education classes.
This bill is clearly designed to discourage choice and lessen educational options for parents of special needs children by financially punishing schools that educate special needs children. It puts the interests of the adults who oversee public school districts ahead of the interests of children and families whom our education system is designed to serve.
House Bill 1255 is unfair and unnecessary. Our mission should be about offering parents – particularly those who seek the brightest possible future for a child with many challenges – a broad menu of quality choices. This bill would accomplish precisely the opposite.
Accordingly, I have vetoed this bill.
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