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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

On Jan. 29, the State Board of Education approved terminating the pending rulemaking and approved re-noticing rulemaking for the Rules for the Administration of the Educator Licensing Act of 1991, 1 CCR 301-37.  Prior to adopting the rules in January, an amendment to Rule 10.01 and the addition of a new rule, Rule 10.06, were proposed to align with state statute (C.R.S. § 22-60.5-107(4) and § 24-72-703 respectively).  Upon review, it was determined that the scope of the notice of rulemaking issued in October did not include the proposed amendment to Rule 10.01 and the proposed new Rule 10.06.  The State Board approved issuing a revised notice of rulemaking, to include statutory professional development requirements for renewal of professional educator licenses, an update to the Adult Basic Education certification process to align with Colorado Community College standards, technical fixes, and proposed changes to license discipline standards and duties under Rule 10. 

Visit the Educator Talent Rules Feedback webpage for more information, including the redline and clean versions of the rules, a crosswalk of rule to statute, and details for submitting feedback/comments.


  • Interactive dashboard enables analysis of Educator Preparation Programs​ - The Educator Preparation Program Report, featuring an interactive dashboard, is available with information about the effectiveness of the Colorado programs training teachers, principals and special services providers for 2014-15 to 2018-19 academic years. The Educator Preparation Programs Report, released in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education, features demographic information on candidates enrolled in Educator Preparation Programs, candidates who have completed the programs and candidates who have obtained teaching jobs in Colorado public schools. Information about new teachers includes employment data, on-the-job performance metrics and data about teacher retention and teacher mobility. For this year’s Educator Preparation Program Report, student academic growth data were not available, but will also be included in future releases. 

  • 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. Please visit the Colorado Department of Higher Education's website to learn moreProgram Update:  Due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Colorado state budget, the Colorado Educator Loan Forgiveness Program did not receive an appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly for the 2020-21 fiscal year, and thus will be inactive for the 2020-21 fiscal year.  As such the program is not able to accept any applications nor make any awards at this time.

  • SB 19-190 Teacher Preparation Program Support - This bill directs the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Colorado 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.
  • 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 program 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.

2019-2020 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) in the 2019-20 school year to provide a complete picture of how Colorado is being impacted by the educator shortage. View a summary of the 2019-20 state-level educator shortage results (coming soon) with information provided separately for teacher, SSP, building leadership (principal/assistant principal) and paraprofessional positions. Data is also presented by teaching subject area, SSP type and rural designation (small rural, rural, non-rural). Also available is the summary of 2018-19 state-level educator shortage results. Detailed information for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years 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:

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Funding opportunity for rural school districts

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Pending rule development

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Grants available

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It can be combined with other funding opportunities

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

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Colorado Rural Teaching Stipend 

The Colorado Center for Rural Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education encourage talented teacher candidates to student teach in Colorado rural school districts and to become a teacher in a Colorado rural school district.  The Colorado Rural Teaching Stipend provides student teachers in rural districts with up to $4,000 of financial support during their final field experience.  Visit the Colorado Rural Teaching Stipend webpage for details including the application and eligibility requirements.

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.


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

$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.

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.  This program was de-funded for the 2020-21 school year.

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.