The act requires the department of education (department), by January 2024, to offer free optional trainings in evidence-informed practices in mathematics, including a training specifically designed for elementary school educators and a training specifically designed for secondary school mathematics educators. Each training must include instruction on interventions for students who are below grade level or struggling in mathematics, children with disabilities, and students who are English language learners. Trainings must be available to relevant staff of school districts, related administrative units, district charter schools, institute charter schools, boards of cooperative services, and community-based organizations.
School district boards of education and institute charter schools are strongly encouraged to adopt procedures for schools to provide support to students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade and their families to improve mathematics outcomes. Procedures may include:
- Identifying students who are below grade level or struggling in mathematics based on academic assessments;
- Notifying the parents, guardians, or legal custodians if a student is below grade level or struggling in mathematics;
- Providing parents, guardians, or legal custodians with a list of interventions and acceleration strategies to assist with mathematics at home, including a state-advisory list of curricula, referrals for tutoring, or other intervention opportunities, if applicable;
- Publishing mathematics curricula annually, including supplemental curricula or interventions; and
- Implementing train-the-trainer or train-the-parent framework plans to improve mathematics achievements for students.
The act creates the Colorado academic accelerator grant program (grant program). The purpose of the grant program is to create community learning centers that:
- Provide opportunities for free academic enrichment and support, which must include tutorial services to help students meet rigorous academic standards and to increase proficiency in mathematics outcomes; and
- Offer families opportunities for engagement in students' education.
Eligible entities that apply to the grant program are selected for a grant that runs for a period of 3 years. The department shall prioritize eligible entities that:
- Adopt intervention strategies;
- Use evidence-informed programs that build student skills in STEM and mathematics;
- Use digital math accelerator programs;
- Serve high-needs students, as determined by the department;
- Have an established presence and relationship in the community; and
- Demonstrate in the application how they will meet the needs of diverse student populations.
The act requires school districts, public schools, the state charter school institute, and institute charter schools that are on an improvement plan, priority improvement plan, or a turnaround plan to identify strategies to address the needs of students who are below grade level or struggling in mathematics and set or revise, as appropriate, ambitious but attainable targets that the public school shall attain in reducing the number of students who are below grade level or struggling in mathematics to increase the number of students who achieve grade-level expectations in mathematics.
The act adjusts the ninth-grade success grant program to prioritize applicants that propose programming focused on evidence-informed mathematics skills, acceleration strategies, and intervention strategies, including a focus on students who are below grade level or struggling in mathematics and have academic achievement levels in mathematics that are consistently ranked the lowest for public high schools in the state, as determined by the department.
The act includes a requirement that candidates for an elementary education endorsement, a middle school mathematics endorsement, or a secondary mathematics endorsement be trained in evidence-informed practices in mathematics, including interventions to help students who are below grade level or struggling in mathematics, children with disabilities, and students who are English language learners.
The act adds developmentally appropriate early numeracy to continuing professional development requirements for teachers employed by a preschool, and requires the department of early childhood to include developmentally appropriate early numeracy as a subject matter area in the resource bank of preschool curricula for use by preschool providers.
The act appropriates $26,694,530 from the general fund to the department as follows:
- $594,530 for math educator training and improvement planning;
- $24,500,000 for the grant program; and
- $1,600,000 for the ninth-grade success grant program.
APPROVED by Governor May 15, 2023
EFFECTIVE May 15, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)