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Teacher Oath Requirement (per Senate Bill 17-296)
About the Requirement
Recently enacted Senate Bill 17-296 requires that all Colorado public school educators (except those who are employed in a temporary capacity and who are citizens of nations other than the United States, and non-educators, such as transportation staff), shall take or sign an oath to uphold both the U.S. and the Colorado constitutions.
This requirement takes effect upon hire at the district or charter school level, and an individual need only take this oath once during the term of employment (though it may certainly be included in annual contract verbiage). It may be administered by an individual authorized to administer oaths in the state of Colorado and attested to orally, or a teacher may sign a written pledge (which need not be notarized).
"State of Colorado, County of , I solemnly (swear)(affirm) that I will uphold the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Colorado, and that I will faithfully perform the duties of the position upon which I am about to enter."
What is the exact statutory citation?
Senate Bill 17-296. While not incorporated just yet into the Colorado Revised Statutes, it is indeed in effect. You may review the signed bill in its entirety (Senate Bill 17-296), with the pertinent information regarding this requirement on p.12.
How must the oath/pledge be administered?
The oath/pledge may be administered in written or oral form. If a written pledge, this pledge must must be signed (notarization not required). If an oral oath, the law specifies that it must be administered by a "person authorized to administer oaths in the state of Colorado."
May the oath be issued to a group of people?
Yes, the oath may be administered orally to a group or to an individual.
Can the written pledge be included within educator contracts?
Is this a one-time requirement?
Yes, an educator need only take this oath once during the tenure of employment in your district.
Who is required to take the oath/pledge?
All public school educators (teachers, special services providers, principals and administrators). It is not required of non-educators, such as transportation or custodial staff.
Is this a requirement for the state (CDE) or the district/school?
The oath is required to be issued and attested to upon hire at the district or charter school level for all educators, whether they are licensed at the time or not.