State Board of Education approves grants to expand computer science education

Colorado News

DENVER, Colo. — The State Board of Education at its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday approved awards for two grant programs to expand computer science education in Colorado. A total of $386,517 was approved for teacher training at 14 districts and BOCES as well as $12,000 for teachers to attend state-provided training. The board also approved $79,390 for eight districts and BOCES to expand participation in computer science classes by historically underrepresented students.

Adams 14 School District Progress Monitoring
The State Board of Education requested a progress monitoring update at the November board meeting from department staff on the status of Adams 14 School District’s implementation of the board’s 2018 order to ensure that the focus has returned to the needs of students. In addition, the board requested to reschedule November the district presentation to the state board that was postponed in September. Specifically, MGT, along with the local board and superintendent, was asked to share beginning-of-the-year academic data, current enrollment data, staffing data including turnover rates and vacant positions, and an update on the partners working in the district and how roles and responsibilities are delegated. 

Board approves new management partner for Gateway High School
The board approved a written order authorizing Aurora Public Schools to change its external manager for Gateway High School to Zero Dropouts. The board gave initial approval for the change in September after Aurora Public Schools proposed an amendment to the 2019 state board order directing the district to bring on Communities in Schools, which chose not to continue as the district’s partner after the conclusion of their last contract. Zero Dropouts will focus on credit recovery, tutoring support, virtual learning opportunities, and extended day and evening learning opportunities for the 2021-22 school year.

Revised rules considered for educator licensing and workforce development 
The board considered background information provided by CDE staff about proposed revisions to educator licensing and workforce development rules. The rulemaking procedures were noticed on Sept. 30, and public comments will be collected through October. Hearings and possible votes will take place at the November board meeting. 

The proposed revisions to the Rules for the Administration of the Educator Licensing Act would align the rules with several changes to the statute passed in 2021. Among the changes, the statutes amended the identification required for an educator license, extended the term of an educators’ license from five to seven years, established alternative principal preparation programs, amended educator licensure enforcement, and created educator recruitment and retention programs.

The new Rules for the Administration of Educator Recruitment and Retention establish the financial assistance components of the Educator Recruitment Grant Program created in 2021 to help members of the armed forces and others pursue careers as educators. The statute provides up to $10,000 in financial assistance for tuition at educator preparation programs. 

In other rulemaking actions, the board:

Approved the notice of rulemaking for the Rules for the Administration of the Expelled and At-Risk Student Services Grant Program. The proposed amendments to the rules reflect changes required by 2021 legislation. Senate Bill 21-268 requires additional application requirements and considerations for awarding grants. The state board will hold a hearing on the proposed changes to the rules and may vote in January

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