In support of elevating the teaching profession
Local, state, and national leaders trust PEBC to inform the development of sound education policy that profoundly impacts success for students and teachers alike. PEBC has developed decades of direct experience in schools, deep knowledge of theory and practice, and a network for thousands of exceptional educators and passionate business and community leaders. Policymakers and advocates count on PEBC to advise the development and implementation of policy so that good ideas translate to great outcomes – in classrooms, schools, and systems as well as for our nation’s workforce and economy.
As such, below are issues/legislation that PEBC has identified as areas for engagement during this legislative session.
PEBC Priority Areas
Expand Access to the Teaching Profession
As Colorado and the rest of the United States continue to face a significant teacher shortage, we will support policies and policymakers looking to positively impact the teaching workforce in 2024. Specific issues we want to address include:
- “Widen the funnel” of candidates for teaching positions by expanding high-quality training programs for diverse future educators
- “Grow your own” programs, such as apprenticeships and pathways for paraprofessionals to earn their teaching license.
- Stipends for rural alternative licensure teachers
- Educator loan forgiveness programs
- Equity lens - continuing to break down barriers to access (financial, cultural, linguistic, educational attainment)
- Mentorship Programs for educators and leaders
PEBC is working to expand high-quality instructional supports that support agency, efficacy and retention of our current educators.
- For example, Governor Polis proposed investing $25 million to address math achievement, including investments in teacher training, curriculum and afterschool STEM opportunities for students.
- In 2023, PEBC’s Wendy Ward Hoffer was featured in this Colorado Sun article on ideas to improve teachers’ abilities to provide high-quality math instruction, and what policymakers might look to address this session.
- PEBC is developing resources for policymakers, including explaining what professional development and supports we know teachers need in order to grow, thrive and be honored as professionals.
PEBC believes that adequate and equitable funding of public education for all learners in Colorado is of utmost importance. A strong business environment for Colorado’s economy needs a great education system so that future generations of Coloradans have the skills and knowledge necessary to enter the 21st century workforce. With that in mind, we are tracking the conversation at the capitol this year around funding for public education, including but not limited to the following specific topics:
- An updated school finance formula
- Elimination of the budget stabilization/”negative” factor so that Colorado gets back to constitutionally required funding levels for education
PEBC believes that for students to thrive at school, they first have to be safe. This is an issue bigger than school security – it means finding real solutions to community violence that is spilling over into our schools.
That’s why in May of 2023, we joined forces with Confluence Policy & Strategy Group (Confluence PSG) to launch the Colorado Safer Schools Initiative (CSSI), an effort to bring together diverse stakeholders to discuss and address the broad range of issues that affect school safety and climate.
Since then, CSSI has made steady progress toward that aim, including:
- Building a broad coalition: Over 200 stakeholders – including almost the entire Colorado Congressional delegation – have signed on to help find meaningful solutions.
- Regular convenings: We held monthly meetings to discuss issues, share ideas, and develop recommendations.
- New website: We launched a website to educate the community and stakeholders about our efforts.
- Media attention: Michael Carter, Aurora Public Schools Member, praised CSSI’s efforts in an op-ed for the Colorado Sun.
- Developing recommendations: We’re poised to release an interim report early in 2024 with actionable recommendations for local and state leaders to implement system-level changes to enhance school safety and climate.
A supermajority of Colorado voters - 72 percent - agree that business should play a greater role in efforts to improve the state’s education system.
Contact us to learn how you can actively engage with PEBC and impact the future success of young people, your business, and the community in which you live and work.