House Clears McLachlan Bill to Address Teacher Shortage

(Apr 19) – The House approved Rep. Barbara McLachlan’s bipartisan bill to create a pilot program providing professional development training for school principals to build strong leadership in our education system and provide better support for educators and students.

“We must ensure teachers in every district–including our rural districts–have the support they deserve in our classrooms,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango. “Teachers must have access to the leadership support they need. When teachers are at their best, our students receive the best education.”

Rep. McLachlan is the chair of the House Education Committee and is a former public school teacher in Durango.

HB19-1002 represents the latest effort by Colorado lawmakers to implement the state’s blueprint to reducing Colorado’s teacher shortage. It builds upon a McLachlan-led bill, HB17-1003, which required the Departments of Higher Education (DHE) and Education (DOE) to put forth relevant policy recommendations to address the teacher shortage. The pilot program will provide preliminary analysis on the efficacy of providing professional leadership and development training to Colorado principals, an effort supported by strong academic and statistical research. Because it is a pilot program, lawmakers in both chambers will have the opportunity to review the pilot’s results and make a decision for how to move forward following its conclusion.

The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 51-13. It now heads to the Senate.

Rep. McLachlan also had another bill that passed on the House floor today. SB19-003 aims to help teachers drowning in student loan debt. The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 47-17. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.

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