Sen. Andy Kerr was named as chair of the Senate Education Committee on Dec. 16, taking over from Evie Hudak, who resigned in November.
“I’m very honored to have been chosen for this position,” Kerr said. “I think it’s very appropriate to have an active teacher as chair of the committee.”
According to Senate Majority Leader Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), picking Hudak’s replacement was no easy task.
“Education is a keystone of our society, thanks to its roles in building a strong workforce and instilling honorable civic values, and that’s why chairing this committee is such a vitally important responsibility,” Heath said in a statement. “I am absolutely confident that the people of Colorado will benefit as a result of Sen. Kerr’s leadership.”
Kerr said that he grew up in the Colorado education system, graduating from Green Mountain High School, and his children are currently in the same system.
Kerr has worked for more than 10 years as a teacher in Jefferson County, and was first elected to the Colorado House in 2006. During his time in the legislature, he has served on both the House and Senate Education committees. Some of the legislation he has worked on include financial incentives for teachers in the math and science areas, and access to financial aid programs.
“I have a lot of insight into these programs, because I’ve seen much of the reforms we’ve made over the past couple years go into effect,” he said. “There has been work on things like improving accountability that I have perspective on.”
One of the things that Kerr would like to focus on is making sure that the state fully implements the policies that have already been passed before moving on to new ones.
“We still have a long ways to go, especially around early childhood learning and closing the achievement gap,” he said. “I hope to be working with both sides of the aisle on these issues.”
Kerr will be joined on the committee by vice-chair Sen. Mike Johnston (D-Denver); Sen. Nancy Todd (D-Aurora); Sen. Rachel Zenzinger (D-Arvada); Sen. Mark Scheffel (R-Parker); Scott Renfroe (R-Greely); and Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins).