Lawmakers assign homework to figure out Colorado’s teacher shortage

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The House Education Committee endorsed an effort Monday to get to the bottom of the perennial teacher shortages that frustrate wide-ranging school districts across the state.

House Bill 1003, which now goes to the full House for debate and a vote, would task the Department of Higher Education, the Colorado Department of Education, school districts and teachers unions with studying teacher shortages in Colorado, identifying root causes, and recommending strategies for improving the recruitment and retention of teachers in all areas of the state.

A press release from ruling House Democrats quotes the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango:

“The teacher shortage in Colorado has reached crisis mode, particularly in rural areas of the state, and it’s time to reverse the trend…This bill will help us find out what we can do to recruit and retain teachers and move forward with a solid plan of action.”

The press statement notes:

This issue impacts all of Colorado’s schools, particularly those in rural and remote regions of the state. There has been a 24.4 percent decline in the number of educators completing an educator preparation program at Colorado 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.






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