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April 3, 2024

House Committee Passes Two Bills to Support Educators

DENVER, CO - The House Education Committee today passed two bills to support Colorado’s educators. HB24-1376, sponsored by Representatives Julia Marvin and Cathy Kipp, would extend the Teacher Mentor Grant Program. SB24-132, sponsored by Representatives Barbara McLachlan and Meghan Lukens would extend the confidentiality of performance evaluation reports to beyond licensed educators. 

"Mentors are important in any field, and especially in education," said Rep. Julia Marvin, D-Thornton, sponsor of HB24-1376. "This bill will allow for greater access to mentor preparation and development for student and novice teachers in their early years of the profession. We know teacher mentorships help build stronger connections, boost the confidence of our newest teachers, and support educational excellence statewide."

“We’re taking steps to extend an important educator mentor program to support our new teachers,” said Rep. Cathy Kipp, D-Fort Collins, sponsor of HB24-1376. “This bill expands eligibility for the Teacher Mentor Grant Program, specifically for teachers who have up to three years of career experience. This bill is about fostering new and experienced teacher retention. Together, we’re making it easier for new teachers to access the resources they need to not only succeed in the job, but to better support our students.”

HB24-1376, passed committee by a vote of 9-2. This bill would expand the Teacher Mentor Grant Program to include novice teachers, specifically teachers who have fewer than three years of teaching experience. Under this bill, the Department of Education would create a graduated scale for the stipends provided to mentors. 

“As a former teacher, I know how important evaluations are because they help us better support our students,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, sponsor of SB24-132. “Our important bill extends the confidentiality of personnel performance records, including evaluations, to most educators in our schools. This bill is a step forward in protecting the privacy of our school educators and shows them we deeply value their efforts to support our students.”

“From administrators to education support professionals, many of those who work in our schools are not awarded important privacy and confidentiality protections when it comes to their personnel records, such as evaluations,” said Rep. Meghan Lukens, D-Steamboat Springs, sponsor of SB24-132. “Importantly, this bill extends confidentiality protections already awarded to licensed educators to other school professionals. We know that extending fair and consistent protections for school educators will help us foster stronger trust within our schools and better meet the needs of our students.”

SB24-132, passed committee unanimously. This bill would extend the confidentiality of evaluation reports and related records to all teachers, principals, administrators, special service providers, and education support professionals. Under current law, only licensed educators are awarded confidentiality when it comes to their personnel records, including yearly evaluations. This bill extends protections to other educators and school staff.

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