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Public Education Champion Class of 2023

The Colorado legislature held an historic 2023 legislative session that has far-reaching impacts for educators, students, and public schools. Each year the CEA honors the legislators who centered educators and students in the legislation they pursued. We’re thrilled to honor these Education Champions whose legislative agendas put students first, addressed the challenges we, as educators are facing, and prioritized CEA’s pillars of investment, respect and safety.

Top of Class

CEA is proud to recognize the following legislators as the Top of Class Education Champions this year.  They stood out as champions across all of our legislative priorities: Invest, Respect, and Safety!

Representative Eliza Hamrick

Representative Eliza Hamrick

HD-61

Rep. Hamrick is a lifelong educator, CEA member and leader, and an extraordinary for change. She has dedicated her life to education and now stands as a champion for gun safety, enhanced training for educators, and vital mental health resources for our students! Her groundbreaking gun safety legislation aims to create a safer future by implementing sensible age limits to help prevent gun violence from young people.

Representative Meghan Lukens

Representative Meghan Lukens

HD-26

As a passionate educator and proud member of CEA, Rep. Lukens championed a groundbreaking bill to tackle the teacher shortage crisis, making Colorado the first state in the nation to pass the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact. She embodies the spirit of collaboration and kindness in her commitment to improving Colorado’s public education system.

Senator Janice Marchman

Senator Janice Marchman

SD-15

As a dedicated teacher and proud member of CEA, Sen. Marchman brings invaluable firsthand experience and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by educators. She sponsored HB 23-1064, the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, to tackle to teacher shortage crisis. Sen. Marchman also led the charge for ensuring Colorado students receive a robust math education and research-backed curriculum and testing.

Senator Chris Kolker

Senator Chris Kolker

SD-16

Sen. Kolker recognizes the invaluable contributions of educators and strives to put forward policy that supports and empowers the work of educating Colorado’s students. He was a sponsor on SB 23-056 that sought to repay PERA for the state’s 2020 missed payment and HB 23-1064, the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact. Through legislative initiatives and innovative policies, Sen. Kolker is working to uplift and empower our educators, fostering an environment where they can thrive, and inspiring the next generation of learners.

Representative Javier Mabrey

Representative Javier Mabrey

HD-1

Rep. Mabrey made exceptional contributions to the cause of working families and the transformative affordable housing policies he pursued during the 2023 legislative session. With an unwavering commitment to standing up against corporate interests and driving progressive change, Rep. Mabrey is reshaping Colorado’s landscape by advocating for affordable housing. By challenging corporate interests and pushing for policies that prioritize access to affordable housing, Rep. Mabrey is helping to ensure that every family has access to safe and affordable homes, and fostering stable and thriving communities.

Senator Rachel Zenzinger

Senator Rachel Zenzinger

SD-19

 

Sen. Zenzinger has long been a friend to public education. Her leadership as Chair of the Joint Budget Committee led to the biggest investment in Colorado’s public education system in decades. By advocating for substantial funding increases, Sen. Zenzinger has made it possible to provide our schools with the resources they need to provide an outstanding education for every student.

We’d also like to recognize the following legislators for prioritizing CEA’s priorities of Invest, Respect, and Safety. It takes grit, compassion, and dedication to champion public education in Colorado’s legislature. Thank you for actively reaching out to educators, seeking our input and expertise, including our perspectives, and working with us to improve public education in Colorado. Together, we will continue to fight for the public schools that all of our Colorado students, educators, and communities deserve.

INVEST

Colorado’s future depends on enacting a long-term, systemic fix which will provide additional revenue sources for our public school system. The only way to ensure that we have the education system worthy of our students and educators is to dedicate ourselves to a sustainable long-term investment. These legislators listened to the advocacy of our members and went above and beyond to prioritize investing in public education. To pushing a $180 million BS Factor buydown, ensuring that Colorado keep its commitments to public education, and advocating for other basic needs of educators such as housing and PERA investment.

Representative Shannon  Bird

Representative Shannon Bird

HD-29

Representative  Barbara McLachlan

Representative Barbara McLachlan

HD-49

Senator  Janet  Buckner

Senator Janet Buckner

SD-29

Senator  Chris  Hansen

Senator Chris Hansen

SD-31

Representative  Cathy  Kipp

Representative Cathy Kipp

HD-52

Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer

Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer

SD-23

Speaker of the House Representative  Julie  McCluskie

Speaker of the House Representative Julie McCluskie

HD-13

RESPECT

Respecting our educators as professional experts in our field means more than just paying a living wage. It means centering our voices and expertise in legislation that affects our work. CEA would like to honor the legislators who centered educators in the legislation they pursued. We’re grateful for the leadership of bill sponsors who sponsored SB 23-111, giving the largest increase in educator and public workers rights in a decade and who sponsored HB 23-1064 Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, which was an important win in the fight to combat statewide teacher shortages.

Senator  James  Coleman

Senator James Coleman

SD-33

Senator  Robert Rodriguez

Senator Robert Rodriguez

SD-32

Representative Brianna Titone

Representative Brianna Titone

HD-27

Representative Steven Woodrow

Representative Steven Woodrow

HD-2

Representative Mary Young

Representative Mary Young

HD-50

SAFETY

Our schools—their successes and their challenges—are often a reflection of the issues our communities are wrestling with. This is especially obvious with our schools’ ongoing struggle to ensure safety of all those who work and learn within them each day. It’s time we listen to educators who are at the center of this issue, and live with its complexities and repercussions every day. CEA would like to honor the following legislators for all their work to make schools and society safer, increase mental health resources, to stand up to the gun lobby and overcome obstruction.

Representative Jennifer Bacon

Representative Jennifer Bacon

HD-7

Senator  Jeff  Bridges

Senator Jeff Bridges

SD-26

Representative  Monica  Duran

Representative Monica Duran

HD-23

Representative Elisabeth  Epps

Representative Elisabeth Epps

HD-6

Senate President Senator  Steve  Fenberg

Senate President Senator Steve Fenberg

SD-18

Senator  Rhonda  Fields

Senator Rhonda Fields

SD-28

HOUSING

Housing accessibility is a top concern for Colorado residents, and a lack of affordable housing disproportionately affects educators. This is a crisis and it must be treated as such. When educators can’t live in the communities where they work and teach, it is our students who lose out on dedicated teachers who will support their academic, personal, social and physical growth. This legislative session saw potential bold fixes for Colorado’s affordable housing crisis – such as SB23-213 Land Use, HB23-1115 Repeal Prohibition Local Residential Rent Control, and HB23-1171 Just Cause Requirement Eviction of Residential Tenant. Unfortunately none of these groundbreaking pieces of legislation moved forward but CEA nonetheless honors the work of their sponsors.

Senator  Julie  Gonzales

Senator Julie Gonzales

SD-34

Representative  Serena  Gonzales-Gutierrez

Representative Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez

HD-4

Representative  Iman Jodeh

Representative Iman Jodeh

HD-41

Senator Dominick Moreno

Senator Dominick Moreno

SD-21

Senator Tom Sullivan

Senator Tom Sullivan

SD-27

Representative Elizabeth Velasco

Representative Elizabeth Velasco

HD-57