LOVELAND, CO - Today Governor Jared Polis signed into law Senator Janice Marchman, D-Loveland, and Rep. Cathy Kipp’s, D-Fort Collins, bipartisan legislation to get more teachers into classrooms by creating a teacher apprenticeship program.
Cosponsored by Sen. Mark Baisley, R-Woodland Park, and Rep. Don Wilson, R-Monument, SB23-087 allows the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to create an apprenticeship program that builds on elements of existing alternative teacher licensure programs and would include a bachelor's degree requirement, training programs approved by CDE, and structured on-the-job training.
“As a middle school math teacher, I know how critical a quality education is for our kids – but right now there aren’t enough teachers to meet demand, and students and families are suffering as a result,” Marchman said. “This bill will help address those shortages and will provide hard-working Colorado school staff the hands-on training and experience they need to step into teaching jobs and provide our kids with the quality public education they deserve.”
“Getting more qualified teachers in classrooms is one of our top priorities, and I’m proud to say we’re knocking down barriers to entering this important career field,” Kipp said. “Our bipartisan law works to address Colorado’s teacher shortage by providing people with paid hands-on training and experience they need to step into teaching roles and provide our students with the high-quality learning opportunities they deserve. Dedicated educators prepare our students for success, and this law creates a pathway for future teachers to begin the career of their dreams.”
According to the Colorado Education Association, teacher and staff shortages remain a huge problem in Colorado’s schools, with 85 percent of educators saying that the teacher shortage is significantly or somewhat worse than previous school years.