Unlike some other states people may be moving from, Colorado is - both by citizen preference and state law - a "local control" state. This means that many pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade public education decisions - on issues such as curriculum, personnel, school calendars, graduation requirements, and classroom policy - are made by the 178 school districts and their local school boards.
However, the people of Colorado felt that some facets of education, such as educator licensing and district accreditation, required leadership at the state level. Following that lead, the Colorado General Assembly established the existence of a State Board of Education to provide guidance on education issues, and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to administer education details for the Board.
These are the Colorado Department of Education's tasks at the state level. CDE:
- supervises many aspects of school administration, including accreditation, teacher licensing, school transportation, school nutrition, special education, and early childhood education;
- administers and distributes funds for a number of federal and state educational programs, centering on issues such as student literacy, technology, school reform and the prevention of at-risk behavior, to name a few;
- provides consultation services on education issues to administrators and educators throughout the state;
- administers the state's library system, as well as all adult education efforts that don't fall under the supervision of Colorado's higher education system;
- oversees school finance and audits the distribution of education funds;
- develops new educational policies;
- acts as a link between school districts and state and federal legislators;
- accumulates, evaluates, and makes public Colorado education data and information.
For a better feel of the breadth of CDE responsibilities, browse the rest of our CDE Web pages or check out the Offices section.
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