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June 6, 2024

ICYMI: Gov. Polis Signs Bill to Protect Educators

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis yesterday signed legislation to improve educator safety in classrooms across the state.

“As a teacher, I know how important it is for students and educators to feel safe at school – and this law is a big step forward toward creating a safe learning environment for everyone,” said Rep. Meghan Lukens, D-Steamboat Springs. “Educator safety should be a top priority, and unfortunately, Colorado educators have reported an increase in targeted violence. Ensuring our educators feel safe and comfortable in the classroom will help recruit, retain and strengthen our educator workforce for years to come.”

“This legislation will help identify actions schools can take to keep educators safe so they can focus on teaching our students,” said Rep. Elizabeth Velasco, D-Glenwood Springs. “By creating a task force to study this issue, we can examine the role that unequal access to resources and restorative justice play in staff safety issues. Feeling safe in school is essential to fostering a positive educational environment that is more equitable.”

HB24-1320 seeks to generate recommendations on improving safety for educators and school staff through the creation of the Educator Safety Task Force. Members of the task force will represent school support professionals, teachers, administrators, nonprofits, and students and families from various communities who are impacted. 

In making their recommendations related to school safety, the task force will look at the impact of funding needs, wraparound supports, staffing ratios, incidents of student behavior, and resource inequality.

The 2023-2024 State of Education report conducted by the Colorado Education Association found that nearly a third of respondents, 32 percent, experienced physical abuse by a student in the two years prior to taking the survey.

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