There are several entities responsible for and processes used in creating state-level statute, rules and policy. The Education Accountability Act of 2009 (SB 09-163) and HB18-1355 authorize the Colorado Department of Education to conduct an annual review of the performance of public schools and districts in the state and to make recommendations to the State Board of Education concerning the type of school improvement plan to be implemented in each school and the accreditation category for each district.
The Colorado Constitution places the power to make laws with the state legislature, the Colorado General Assembly. The General Assembly is comprised of 100 elected officials—65 Representatives and 35 Senators. The legislature’s power to make laws is exercised through the process of considering and adopting bills. A bill generally either creates new law, amends existing law, or repeals existing law.
Colorado State Statute can be found on the Colorado General Assembly website, available here.
Education Accountability Law includes:
State Board of Education Rules / Code of Colorado Regulations (CCR)
The State Board of Education (SBE) is composed of seven elected officials representing Colorado's congressional districts. The Colorado Constitution vests in the SBE general supervision of the public schools of the state. Included in this authority is the power to promulgate rules with the force of law. However, before the SBE initiates any rulemaking, the Colorado General Assembly must first pass legislation authorizing the SBE to implement the legislation through rule.
Colorado State Board of Education Rules can be found on the Colorado Secretary of State website, available here.
Education Accountability Rules include:
Colorado Department of Education Policy
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is the administrative arm of the SBE. The head of the department, the Commissioner of Education, is appointed by the SBE. The commissioner, along with department staff, have discretion to use professional expertise and judgement when making certain decisions about how to apply a statute or rule. This discretion is restricted by requirements of statute and rule and is informed by directives from SBE members and input gathered from districts, schools, educators, families and other interested parties. From time to time, CDE may develop written policies or guidelines that describe how CDE intends to exercise its discretion. Such written policy is important because it provides a roadmap that ensures executive functions are carried out in an objective, fair, and consistent manner.
CDE accountability policies are primarily provided in these handbooks updated annually:
Education Statutes, Rules & Policy: Comparing Powers and Processes - Dec 3, 2018
This document provides a high-level comparison of the entities responsible for and processes used in creating state-level education statute, rules and policy.
HB 18-1355: Overview - July 2018
Overview to explain the components of HB18-1355 which modifies Colorado’s accountability law.
Crosswalk of 2018 State and Federal School Identifications - Aug 2018
This document provides a crosswalk detailing identifications in state and federal accountability systems.
District Accountability Handbook, Version 8.0 (PDF) - August 2018
This handbook provides an outline of the requirements and responsibilities for the state, district, and school stakeholders in the state’s accountability process.
Priority Improvement and Turnaround Districts and Schools: A Supplement to the CDE District Accountability Handbook (PDF) - August 2018
This supplement provides further details on the requirements and responsibilities for the state, district, and school stakeholders for those identified as Priority Improvement and Turnaround.
For past resources, please visit the Archive page
For more information on the SBE visit the Colorado State Board of Education webpage.
For more information on federal accountability law, visit the Federal Accountability webpage.
For archived information about Colorado’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act Waiver, visit the Archive - ESEA Waiver webpage.
For more information, please contact Jessica Watson at Watson_J@cde.state.co.us.