The teacher shortage in Colorado has reached crisis levels – but there is hope, especially with the support of Colorado’s outstanding business community.
The teacher shortage affects the entire Colorado economy, even for those who work outside of education or don’t have children in school. Fewer teachers means fewer opportunities for students to learn critical skills and trades for our economy. Put simply: The teacher shortage is putting our future workforce at risk.
That’s why it’s so important for the business community to take action now. PEBC has put together eight concrete steps that businesses can take now to help support education and stem the teacher shortage.
Create and support scholarships for teacher apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships have long been a method of introducing new workers to potential lifelong careers, and help them build their skills and experience. By funding an apprenticeship, you can place a teacher in a classroom in an understaffed rural or urban school. By placing two teachers in a classroom, not only are student outcomes improved, but teachers experience more flexibility.
Create a small scholarship to send 3-5 teachers to high-quality professional learning opportunities like PEBC’s Thinking Strategies Institute or any other two or three day PEBC workshop.
Teachers are committed to being experts in their craft. By sponsoring teachers to attend workshops, you will facilitate more equitable access to professional development opportunities for teachers in the highest-need schools.
Fund teachers in an innovative business model based on retention outcomes (Pay for Success).
PEBC is currently seeking investors to support the training of 350 teachers over three years in an innovative business model called Pay for Success. Private capital is being raised to train and retain these teachers, and the school district will repay the private capital if PEBC trains teachers who stay in the district at least three years.
Create or contribute to a living wage fund to make child care more available and affordable for future teachers.
Access to affordable child care is frequently cited as a barrier to potential new teachers entering the profession. Contributing to a living wage fund would allow PEBC to create scholarships for participants in the Teaching Residency program to pay for child care so they can train to become teachers.
Co-author op-eds with PEBC to raise public awareness of the importance of bolstering the teacher workforce.
The business community has substantial power in Colorado, and your organization’s voice can substantially raise awareness of the teacher shortage and help to influence public opinion. PEBC can work with you to draft and publish op-eds in your local news outlet.
Partner with PEBC to give testimonials at the Capitol to lend business credibility to educator workforce issues.
Legislators rely on testimonials from the public and stakeholders to make decisions about important legislation and policies that can help to relieve the teacher shortage. PEBC can work with you to craft testimonials and talking points.
Partner with Teach Colorado on a PSA campaign to help shift perceptions of the profession.
Teach Colorado is on a mission to “pump up the teaching profession” and build a connected community of educators. Contact Teach Colorado to share their PSA, tell your own story, or find out how to plug into their work.
Connect your CSR team to PEBC to find consistent giving opportunities and classroom volunteer opportunities.
Colorado’s teachers need consistent, reliable volunteers in their classroom! Contact Emory Dinner to learn more about how your organization can find consistent classroom volunteer opportunities.