DENVER, CO– The House today advanced Reps. Naquetta Ricks and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez’s bill to promote diversity in Colorado’s educator workforce on second reading.
“Colorado’s student population is growing more and more diverse by the year, and our educator workforce hasn’t kept up,” said Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver (Northside). “We know how impactful it can be for young students of color to see their own backgrounds and identities reflected in their role models, and this bill will start us on a path toward ensuring that’s the case for every child in our state. As a product of public education myself, I understand exactly how impactful this bill will be.”
“I firmly believe that education is the key to a bright future, but I know first hand how difficult it can be to chart your own path to success when none of your teachers look like you,” said Rep. Naquetta Ricks, D-Aurora. “I want to ensure that all of Colorado’s students have the opportunity to learn from educators who look like them and share their backgrounds. This bill will examine the barriers we face and will get us closer to that goal in the near future. A vibrant, diverse workforce is good for students, good for educators, and good for Colorado.”
HB21-1010 would create a workgroup that would research ways to prepare, retain, and recruit diverse educators and make recommendations to the Senate and House Education Committees. The Department of Higher Education and the Department of Education would choose members of the workgroup, which must include a diverse group of representatives from relevant agencies and organizations as specified in the bill.