Current law limits the content areas in which a person who holds an adjunct instructor authorization may teach. The act 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.
The act requires the department of education (department) to direct resources to publicize existing teacher preparation programs to facilitate entry into the teaching profession. The act 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 act requires the 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 act outlines the components of the teaching career pathway program.
The act creates the teacher recruitment education and preparation program (TREP program) in the department. 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 act outlines the selection criteria and requirements for the TREP program.
The act 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 shall promulgate rules to implement the ERR program. The act outlines the eligibility criteria and program services.
The act adds criteria for the commission on higher education to select eligible applicants for the educator loan forgiveness program.
The act requires the university of Colorado health and sciences center to establish and operate an educator well-being and mental health program to provide support services for educators serving students in Colorado's public elementary and secondary schools.
For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, $9,132,856 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of education to implement the act. For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, $942,542 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of higher education to implement the act. For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, $2,500,000 is appropriated from the general fund to the educator loan forgiveness fund. The department of higher education is responsible for the accounting related to the appropriation for the educator loan forgiveness fund.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)