Lisa Cutter is a first term legislator who has introduced a bill that will encourage media literacy to be taught in K through 12 schools around Colorado. Cutter is a Democrat who represents House District 25. The bill will be discussed in appropriations committee at the state legislature later on Friday February 22nd.
“The heart of the bill, what I’m trying to get at, is to prepare students to function in a world that’s not like it was 20 years ago.” Cutter says that in the past children often wouldn’t have much information about world and local news, for the most part they’d only hear what their parents told them. However, with the rapid evolution of technology and the widespread nature of it, more and more children are being constantly bombarded by an overload of information from different sources of media. The bill proposes incorporating media literacy education into the regular school life of growing children. “If kids and young people don’t have good information, it’s hard to make good decisions.”
The first year of the bill’s enactment would be focused on creating a diverse committee of educators, media professionals, parents, librarians, and more people like them. This committee would evaluate what tools and resources are there for them and make recommendations that can be acted on next year with more legislation.
“There’s not a lot of funding options right now for public education, it’s very pinched, so there’s very modest funding attached to this, maybe around $20,000 for travel expenses and the cost of assembling a committee, and then they would have to draft a report but it’s a very, very small, almost insignificant fiscal impact. And then if we continue on with another bill next year, we would simply provide the tools and resources and have them woven into the standards a little bit more, so I would still anticipate a pretty small fiscal impact.”