Colorado Schools to Provide Free Menstrual Products

Last week, the Colorado House of Representatives passed House Bill 24-1164, also known as the Free Menstrual Products to Students Bill.

The legislation requires middle and high schools throughout Colorado to provide free pads and tampons to students in an attempt to mitigate period poverty. Period poverty is a lack of access to menstrual products, education, hygiene facilities, waste management, or a combination of these. It affects an estimated 500 million people worldwide.

Under this newly passed bill, 25% of Colorado school bathrooms must set these standards into practice within the next year. One of the bill’s sponsors stated, “Periods don’t wait—and this important law ensures that Colorado students can access menstrual products they need, when they need them.”

In light of this need for change, all local education systems (grades 6-12), specifically public schools, are required to carry free menstrual products by June 2028.  

This law also expanded the Menstrual Hygiene Grant Program by aiding in a US$200,000 increase to the program, which allocates funds to necessary schools that lack sufficient menstrual resources. This expansion is expected to take place during the 2024-25 fiscal year and will target smaller, rural school areas in Colorado.  

A recent study from Justice Necessary found that 80% of 220 middle and high school students in Colorado were absent from class due to inaccessible menstrual products. Period poverty doesn’t only affect women biologically—it affects their ability to learn as well. HB 24-1164 is one step toward a better education for Colorado’s students, and a giant leap for menstruating teens across the nation. 

ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, recognizes and continuously advocates for public policies that lead to free access for menstrual products in schools. ISSA wants to highlight the importance of such progress at the state level as we further our campaign to  End Period Poverty. For more information about ISSA’s End Period Poverty campaign, contact ISSA Government Affairs Intern Anaya Andre at [email protected]