(March 27) – A bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, to create a plan of action to address the teacher shortage crisis in Colorado earned final approval from the House this morning with a 37-26 vote.
“This bill is about action—it’s time to deliver results for our kids,” said Rep. McLachlan. “We know the teacher shortage in Colorado has reached crisis mode, so this bill creates the framework to do something about it and bring more teachers to our classrooms.”
HB17-1003 requires the Department of Higher Education, in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education, school districts, and other education associations, to study teacher shortages in Colorado, identify root causes, and recommend strategies for improving the recruitment and retention of teachers in all areas of the state.
The teacher shortage nationwide has been gaining attention as schools struggle to staff their classrooms. In Colorado, there has been a 24.4 percent decline in the number of educators completing an educator preparation program at colleges and universities between the years 2010- 2016. Because each area of the state has different needs, the plan will incorporate unique solutions for rural, urban and suburban school districts.
The bill proceeds to the Senate, where it is sponsored by Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose.