SB21-185: Supporting Educator Workforce in Colorado (Zenzinger & Rankin/McLachlan & McCluskie)
The bill would allow school districts or charter schools to employ a person who holds an adjunct instructor authorization to teach in all content areas to address recruiting challenges and establish a diverse workforce. It would also create the Educator Recruitment and Retention Program (ERR) in the Colorado Department of Education 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. ERR participants would be eligible to receive up to $10,000 for the tuition cost of participating in an educator preparation program. It would create the Teacher Recruitment Education and Preparation Program 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.
The Children’s Campaign supports the bill. It seeks to reduce teacher shortages in Colorado, empower local leaders in recruiting subject matter experts into the educator workforce, develop a workforce that more closely reflects the diversity of Colorado’s students, elevate the teaching profession, and expand pathways into the profession and raise the profile of all pathways into the education workforce. Teachers play pivotal roles in our children’s lives and they are the single most important school-related factor for student achievement. We know that our teacher workforce challenges have only been exacerbated during the COVID pandemic and it is essential to creatively and thoughtfully bring qualified teachers into our classrooms.
Passed the Senate Education Committee on a vote of 5-2 and now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Leslie Colwell, Vice President of Education Initiatives, testified in support of the bill. You can listen online here.