New Colorado Legislation That Will Support Paid Teacher Apprenticeships Addresses an Important Workforce Need

New Colorado Legislation That Will Support Paid Teacher Apprenticeships Addresses an Important Workforce Need

Denver, CO, May 15—Teach Plus Colorado today issued the following statement in response to Governor Jared Polis signing SB 23-087, sponsored by Senator Janice Marchman, Senator Mark Baisley, Representative Cathy Kipp, and Representative Don Wilson, into law.

“Teach Plus and Teach Plus teacher leaders applaud Governor Polis for signing into law SB 23-087, the legislation that authorizes a teacher degree apprenticeship program which builds on the elements of alternative teacher licensure, including a bachelor’s degree requirement, training programs approved by the state department of education, and structured on-the-job training.

“Colorado students need excellent educators no matter their pathways into teaching. With this legislation, aspiring educators will be paid for their apprenticeships while they pursue an undergraduate degree and licensure exams prior to becoming a classroom teacher,” said Mark Sass, Teach Plus Colorado Executive Director. “ This means more entry points into the profession in our state, especially in districts that have struggled to recruit and retain a diverse teaching force.”

The new law provides new teachers with the opportunity to receive paid funds and on-the-job training, as well as the opportunity to engage as a community member in mentorship with school and district partners. This legislation creates a fourth entry point into the teaching profession that will help to address teaching shortages across the state.

“This legislation addresses long-term inequities embedded in the high costs of traditional teacher licensure. Unpaid student teaching has historically been a costly and time-consuming process. This bill provides financial incentives and paid work opportunities so that future teachers have an additional option beyond the traditional entry points into the profession,” said Mary Rose Donahue, a high school language arts teacher in Boulder and Teach Plus Policy Fellow.

About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has developed thousands of teacher leaders across the country to exercise their leadership in shaping education policy and improving teaching and learning, to create an education system driven by access and excellence for all.