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 examples of issues/legislation that PEBC has identified as areas for engagement during the upcoming legislative session.
PEBC Areas for Engagement
PEBC supports efforts to address Colorado’s teacher shortage, particularly for our rural and small-rural school districts.
- “Grow your own” programs, such as apprenticeships and pathways for paraprofessionals to earn their teacher’s license.
- Stipends for rural alternative licensure teachers
- Educator loan forgiveness programs
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 will be tracking the conversation at the capitol this year around funding for public education, including but not limited to the following specific topics:
- Mill Levy Equalization
- An updated school finance formula
- Elimination of the budget stabilization/”negative” factor so that Colorado gets back to constitutionally required funding levels for education.
Elevating Teacher Voice in Public Policy
PEBC believes that education policy is strengthened when teachers have a seat at the table. Below are some examples of policy initiatives that PEBC has led or participated in with the explicit goal of providing practicing educators with experiences to share their perspectives with policy makers:
- April 2020 - PEBC organized a telephone town hall with Senator Michael Bennet, so that he could hear directly from teachers how they were experiencing the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic in their communities. Over 20 teachers from across the state of Colorado participated, including many PEBC Teacher Residency alumni, mentor teachers, and Lab Hosts.
- Spring/Fall 2019 - The Teacher Informed Solutions in Performance Evaluation (TISPE) Project - As the topic of teacher performance evaluation is gaining renewed interest at the capitol, PEBC worked in partnership with several community partners on the TISPE Initiative to provide avenues for teacher voice to play an important role in an policy discussions relevant to their chosen profession. TISPE participants were provided micro-grants to pilot innovations in performance evaluation within their districts, and produced a white paper with policy recommendations that was presented to legislators on the Colorado House and Senate Education Committees in advance of the 2020 legislative session.
PEBC supports the Teacher Health and Wellness Act , legislation sponsored by Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH) as legislation that strengthens the teaching profession by investing in ways to increase teacher health and reduce teacher stress.
PEBC supports continued and expanded state funding for programs such as the Quality Teacher Recruitment grant program, and advocates for the inclusion of funding for teacher residencies at the federal level.
At the 2016 Superintendent Forum, PEBC generated 400 strategies related to supporting talent development for the education profession from both the education and business representatives in attendance. These audience responses clearly demonstrated a collective desire to seek and rally champions for educators across all sectors. PEBC established the Catalysts, a select group of business leaders who are ardent advocates for the elevation of the teaching profession and equitable outcomes for all students.
PEBC’s Catalysts understand that our students and their teachers are the underpinning of the state’s future workforce and of our communities’ economic health and vibrancy. They also understand the urgency and consequences of the teacher shortages their communities face. In order for our schools to have the teachers our students deserve, leaders will leverage the expertise of all groups to sharpen their advocacy skills as catalysts for education across Colorado.
- Tiffany Bray, Vice President, Government Programs, DaVita Kidney Care
- Tom Brinegar, VP & CFO, PEAK Resources, Inc.
- Patty Fontneau, President, Benefit Exchange & Technology Solutions Business, Cigna
- Craig May, Partner, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP
- Rico Munn, Superintendent, Aurora Public Schools
- Mark Tapy, Apprenticeship Program Manager, Pinnacol Assurance
- Tammy Westerberg - Partner, Wheeler Trig O'Donnell LLP
- Spring 2021: Partnered with Colorado Succeeds to publish an opinion column in the Denver Post, Intervention is Needed for Colorado’s Superintendent Crisis.
- Summer 2020: Four Catalysts joined superintendents for the PEBC Superintendent Forum to discuss how students and their teachers are the underpinning of the state’s future workforce - and uncover ways businesses and leaders in education can work together to elevate the teaching profession and produce equitable outcomes for all students.
- Spring 2019: Catalysts Tom Brinegar and Craig May unveiled the TeachColorado initiative with a presentation to the members of the Colorado Forum.
- Summer 2018: Served as an advisory group to Governor Hickenlooper’s Education Leadership Council (ELC); met with Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne and the ELC to provide input on Vision for Education in Colorado and provide feedback on final report.
- Summer 2017: Published an op-ed in the Colorado Springs Gazette, Measures to Improve How Colorado prepares Future Teachers.
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.