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Educator Talent - Policy Updates

This webpage offers an overview of legislation passed in 2017, 2018 and 2019 by the General Assembly and State Board of Education rule updates that will be implemented by the Educator Talent Division at CDE. For all other policy updates, please visit the CDE Policy and Funding webpage. Information regarding implementation, grant opportunities and tools and resources for districts are available on this page.

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Educator Talent Rules Updates

The State Board of Education noticed rulemaking at their September meeting for the Rules for the Administration of Educator License Endorsements, 1 CCR 301-101.  CDE is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to these rules.  Interested stakeholders can view the proposed revisions and submit comments via an online form through Friday, October 11, 2019.


  • SB 19-003 Educator Loan Forgiveness Program - This bill authorizes the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) to offer loan repayment on qualified loans for educators who serve in hard-to-fill positions in Colorado. The application will open Fall 2019. For updates, please visit the CDHE Colorado Educator Loan Forgiveness webpage for additional information and to sign up to receive notification when the application is open.

  • SB 19-190 Teacher Preparation Program Support - This bill directs the department of higher education and the department of education to work with the deans of schools of education to review, research, and identify best practices in teacher preparation with the intention that all educator preparation programs meet or exceed those best practices. The legislation also directs the department of education to collaborate with the department of higher education to create a mentor teacher endorsement for teachers. Additionally, this grant creates a mentor teacher grant program to be facilitated by the department of higher education. 
  • HB 19-1002 Leadership Professional Development for School Principals - This bill authorizes the department of education to create a pilot program for the leadership development of school principals with a specific focus on distributive leadership and the development of positive school climate. The program will present rules to the State Board of Education in November 2019 with an approval date of January 2020. The program will be accepting applications for the principal development program in February 2020. Participants will participate in the program beginning in June 2020 through June 2022. 

  • HB 18-1309 Programs Addressing Teacher Shortages - During the 2018 legislative session, changes were made to state law related to programs to address the teacher shortage. This bill creates the teacher of record license and associated programs to allow candidates who have completed all, or substantially all, of the required coursework for completion of a bachelor's degree but have not yet completed teaching field work requirements to be hired as teachers of record. CDE must create rules for the administration of the teacher record license and program. 

Amendments were also added to the special services intern authorization, and changes were made to the definitions of 'school counselor' and 'school health professional' to include a larger subset of educators in the relevant grant programs. This bill also allows SSP intern authorizations to be renewed for a second year.

  • SB 18-229 Student Teacher Criminal History Checks - A new fingerprinting process for future educators who are completing field experience placements is now available. This new process aligns with SB 18-229 regarding fingerprinting for future educators who are enrolled in Colorado educator preparation programs and placed in school districts as student teachers or alternative candidates. While this new process will provide enhanced visibility of a field experience student's criminal history and potential barriers that their history may present in their pursuit of educational licensure, it is critical for for all stakeholders to understand that field experience students WILL NOT undergo a full background investigation based upon any criminal history results returned until they fully meet the requirements and submit an application for a CDE-issued credential. For details regarding this new process, visit the Fingerprinting for Student Teachers page.

Information on educator fingerprinting for the Colorado Applicant Background Services (CABS) is available on the CDE Licensing Fingerprint Requirements page.

2018-2019 Educator Shortage Survey results now available - CDE surveyed the state’s school districts and BOCES about the employment of teachers and special services providers (SSPs) positions over the 2018-19 school year to provide a complete picture of how Colorado is being impacted by the educator shortage. View a summary of 2018-19 state-level educator shortage results with data provided separately for teaching and SSP positions and reported by teaching subject area, SSP category and district type (small rural, rural and non-rural). Detailed information about the number of positions filled by specific shortage mechanisms (including hiring long-term substitutes, retired educators, alternative licensure program candidates and emergency authorizations holders), the number of positions that went unfulfilled and recruiting strategies used is also available through the interactive dashboard on the Educator Shortage Survey Results webpage.

Educator Shortage Funding Opportunities

To help school districts, charter school and BOCES maximize the teacher shortage funding opportunities available and to see how they can be combined, each grant opportunity below will include the following icons to indicate:

Funding opportunity for rural school districts

Pending rule development

Grants available

It can be combined with other funding opportunities

For a quick overview of available teacher shortage grants view the Teacher Shortage Funding Opportunities Fact Sheet.

HB 18-1002 Rural School District Teaching Fellowship Programs (PDF)

Rural district, charter school, or BOCES within shortage area, in partnership with public or private institutes of higher education (IHE), may apply for funds to cover cost of attendance in approved educator preparation program. For additional information, please visit Colorado Center for Rural Education's Stipends for Rural Educators webpage.

HB 18-1189 Expanding Effective Teacher Residency Programs (PDF)

The goal of this program is to identify and communicate to school districts, charter schools, and BOCES the best practices, effective strategies, and critical components of effective teacher residency programs and thereby facilitate expansion of the effective teacher residency programs across the state. This bill provides funds to CDE to contract with institutes of higher education (IHEs) and alternative teacher programs who are currently operating effective teacher residency programs with local education providers (LEPs). The IHEs and alternative programs will expand their respective programs with other LEPs as pilot programs that must include specified components. CDE will annually submit a report to the State Board of Education, Colorado Commission on Higher Education, Colorado Department of Higher Education, Governor's Office, and education committees of the General Assembly on the effectiveness of the program.

The application process for Expanding Effective Teacher Residency Programs is now closed. The following IHEs and alternative teacher preparation programs were awarded grants to be implemented over three years.

  • Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC): $264,000
  • University of Colorado Denver: $205,000
  • Western State Colorado University: $129,047

HB 18-1309 Programs Addressing Teacher Shortages (PDF)

Provides funds to great local Grow Your Own Educator programs in conjunction with the teacher of record program and license.

HB 18-1332 Collaborative Educator Preparation Program Grants (PDF)

$2 million has been provided by the state department of higher education to invest in partnerships among educator preparation programs and schools, districts, or BOCES to invest in initiatives that address teacher shortages in Colorado.

HB 18-1412 Retaining Teachers Grant Program (PDF)

The Retaining Teachers grant program provides school districts, charter schools, and BOCES the opportunity to implement a wide variety of locally appropriate strategies to improve their ability to successfully retain teachers.

SB 18-085 Financial Incentives for Education in Rural Areas (PDF)

Stipends for teachers in rural areas for alternative preparation courses; concurrent enrollment certification, National Board Teacher certification, or special services provider certification. Managed by the Colorado Center for Rural Education. For additional information, please visit Colorado Center for Rural Education's Stipends for Rural Educators webpage.

The 2017-2018 Colorado Center for Rural Education (CCRE) Stipend Report and Executive Summary are available below. The Stipend Report provides a comprehensive review of each of the four stipends CCRE has awarded to rural educators since January 2017 (Colorado Rural Teaching Stipends, Concurrent Enrollment Educator Qualification Stipends, National Board Certified Teacher Stipends, and Rural Alternative Licensure Stipends). The Executive Summary summarizes key points of the report in a one-page handout.