Colorado Department of Education Expands ‘Teacher Shortage’ Tour

by Special to the Post · July 25, 2017

 To help inform a strategic action plan, the Colorado Department of Higher Education (DHE) and Colorado Department of Education (CDE) are hosting a series of town hall meetings this summer to gather public input on addressing the state’s educator shortage. District employees, parents, students and concerned community members are strongly encouraged to attend a town hall meeting in their area. The departments have also released online surveys in English and Spanish for those who cannot attend in person.

“To draft an effective action plan, it is critical we hear voices from every region of the state,” said Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, executive director of DHE. “Educators make all other professions possible, and we must to do all we can to lift the profession and retain top talent in the classroom.”

The meetings are part of an extended outreach effort as DHE and CDE begin to implement House Bill 17-1003, signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in May. The bill requires the departments to develop a joint action plan for recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers.

“Our school districts work very hard to ensure that every classroom has a quality teacher,” said Katy Anthes, Colorado’s education commissioner. “But as a state we need to do more to help those districts attract and retain teachers. We need everyone at the table to help come up with a solution.”

During the town hall meetings, participants review existing research and discuss the perception of education careers, compensation and other factors contributing to the shortage. The first two meetings took place in Ridgway and Parachute last month.

Educator Shortage Action Plan Town Hall Series
Wednesday, Aug. 2 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Colorado Mountain College – Leadville Campus, 901 U.S. 24, Leadville, CO 80461

Monday, Aug. 7 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Centennial Hall Auditorium, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Thursday, Aug. 10 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Otis High School, 518 Dungan St., Otis, CO 80743

Aug. 14 or 15 at Ignacio High School, 315 Ignacio Street, Ignacio, CO 81137 (date TBD)

Friday, Aug. 18 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at East Central BOCES Office, 820 Second St., Limon, CO 80828

Monday, Aug. 21 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Las Animas High School, 300 Grove Ave., Las Animas, CO 81054