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SB21-185

Supporting Educator Workforce In Colorado

Concerning supporting the educator workforce in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Session:
2021 Regular Session
Subjects:
Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Higher Education
Bill Summary

Current law limits the content areas in which a person who holds an adjunct instructor authorization may teach. The bill allows a school district or charter school to employ a person who holds an adjunct instructor authorization to teach in all content areas in order to address recruiting challenges and establish a diverse workforce. A person who holds an adjunct instructor authorization may be employed under the authorization only in the school district or charter school that requested the person's services. A person who holds an adjunct instructor authorization and is employed by a school district may teach only under the general supervision of a licensed professional. A school district and a charter school may not employ the person as a full-time teacher. The bill creates an exception for rural school districts. A rural school district may employ a person who holds an adjunct instructor authorization as a full-time teacher only if there are no other qualified, licensed applicants for the position.

The bill requires the department of education (department) to direct resources to publicize existing teacher preparation programs to facilitate entry into the teaching profession. The bill also requires the department to provide technical support to school districts, boards of cooperative services, and charter schools to assist them in accessing the existing programs and in recruiting individuals to pursue teaching careers.

The bill requires the state board for community colleges and occupational education to collaborate with the department and department of higher education, in collaboration with the department of education, the state board for community colleges and occupational education, and the deans of the schools of education and academic administrators in Colorado institutions of higher education, or their designees, to design a teaching career pathway for individuals to enter the teaching profession. The bill outlines the components of the teaching career pathway program.

The bill creates the teacher recruitment education and preparation program (TREP program). Two of the main objectives of the TREP program are to increase the number of students entering the teaching profession and to create a more diverse teacher workforce to reflect the ethnic diversity of the state. A qualified TREP program participant may concurrently enroll in postsecondary courses in the 2 years directly following the year in which the participant was enrolled in the twelfth grade of a local education provider. The bill outlines the selection criteria and requirements for the TREP program.

The bill creates the educator recruitment and retention program (ERR program) in the department to provide support to members of the armed forces, nonmilitary-affiliated educator candidates, and local education providers to recruit, select, train, and retain highly qualified educators across the state. The state board of education and the state board for community colleges and occupational education shall promulgate rules to implement the ERR program. The bill outlines the eligibility criteria and program services. Eligible ERR program participants may receive up to $10,000 for the tuition cost of participating in an educator preparation program. If an applicant does not fulfill the service condition of the program, the applicant is required to repay the awarded financial assistance to the department.

The bill adds criteria for the commission on higher education to select eligible applicants for the educator loan forgiveness program.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text