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 2023. 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)
Retain Existing Teachers
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.
- Earlier this fall, 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.
Strengthen the Early Childhood Educator Workforce
With universal preschool beginning in 2023, communities across Colorado are planning for how this will take shape locally, while the state’s newly created Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) looks to systematically address both current gaps and emerging needs in the early childhood care and education system. A critical component of that system is a strong early childhood educator workforce.
- PEBC and Keystone Policy Center released a policy brief summarizing the recommendations of a stakeholder convening to improve the recruitment, retention, and support of Colorado’s essential ECE workforce. We will be looking to see how the legislature plans to support and scale this workforce, which faces critical challenges including low pay and high turnover.
- PEBC also had the opportunity to sit on a stakeholder group organized by CDEC focused on Early Childhood Compensation and Benefits. This group will be releasing a set of recommendations and strategies to increase compensation and access to comprehensive benefits for Colorado’s ECE workforce in early 2023.
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
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.