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Colorado Education Association Celebrates Passage of Educator-Sponsored Bill to Combat Teacher Shortage

Posted on: March 15, 2023
Posted By: CEA Communications
Posted in: Press
Tagged:

CONTACT
Lauren Stephenson
Director of Communications
Colorado Education Association
LStephenson@coloradoea.org
(303) 968-5573

FOR PRESS: PHOTOS OF BILL SIGNING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2023

Colorado Education Association Celebrates Passage of
Educator-Sponsored Bill to Combat Teacher Shortage

DENVER — The Colorado Education Association is excited to announce the passage of an important piece of legislation that will benefit Colorado public school students and educators. Signed into law by Governor Jared Polis, HB23-1064, or the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, will add more qualified educators to our schools by removing bureaucratic hurdles.

This bill is particularly significant for the CEA, which represents 39,000 public educators statewide. Said president Amie Baca-Oehlert: “We’re thrilled to see the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact be signed into law – this is an important win in the fight to combat statewide teacher shortages. And we’re particularly excited to see the passage of a bill sponsored by three of our very own member educators, Representative Meghan Lukens, Representative Mary Young, and Senator Janice Marchman.”

Rep. Lukens left her position teaching Social Studies just three months ago, after being elected to office. Sen. Marchman is a Math teacher and former Thompson School Board vice president. Rep. Mary Young is a former special education teacher and current school psychologist. Lukens, Marchman, and Young are prime examples as to the importance of having educator leadership wherever education decisions are made.

Said Baca-Oehlert, “The CEA proudly champions any initiative that gets more qualified, licensed educators teaching in our classrooms and becoming a part of our community. We’re so proud to see important legislation like this led by our own members, and signed into law. With educators like Sen. Marchman, Rep. Lukens and Rep. Young in leadership, we’ve no doubt that this bill is just the beginning of educator-driven solutions for our public schools.” said Baca-Oehlert.

The CEA would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you and congratulations to HB23-1064 co-sponsor Sen. Chris Kolker, who has been a staunch ally in the battle to create public schools that fulfill all of our students’ and educators’ needs.

Why HB23-1064 is Needed

Currently, educators who would like to teach in Colorado often have to wait several months, and take several additional tests, in order to legally teach the same subjects that they are licensed and qualified to teach in another state.

These inefficiencies are particularly galling given the nationwide and statewide educator shortage. CEA’s annual State of Education report found that 85% of our educators felt as though the educator shortage was worse than it had ever been.

This bill will eliminate many of these barriers for prospective Colorado educators, thereby increasing the efficiency with which qualified educators can be employed at our public schools.

“Many of our educators already come from out of state, and it’s a priority to do what we can to make that pathway as smooth as possible. This school year began with a significant number of unfilled positions statewide – there was not one district that was completely staffed. Our hope is that this bill will allow us to start the next school year, and the years that follow, in a better position,” said Baca-Oehlert.

About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is the voice of 39,000 educators, working together in a strong union to ensure all students get the exceptional public schools they deserve, in every neighborhood across the state. As Colorado’s largest labor union, CEA works collectively with all education stakeholders to ensure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.

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