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News Release - State board reauthorizes all but two educator preparation programs at Regis University

Jan. 14, 2020

State board reauthorizes all but two educator preparation programs at Regis University

DENVER - The State Board of Education at its first meeting of the year on Wednesday and Thursday reauthorized all but two of Regis University’s educator preparation programs. Two programs, elementary and special education, were conditionally approved for the 2021-22 school year provided that the university improves instruction on teaching reading.  

The university must finalize its plan to ensure professional development for faculty around the Colorado READ Act requirements. Regis University must also finalize the revision of elementary and special education program courses by identifying primary texts that align with the Colorado Academic Standards and increasing emphasis on research-based science of teaching reading instruction. 

Regis will be required to resubmit the plans for both its elementary and special education programs by May 31. The department will conduct another review of these programs during the 2021 fall semester. All conditions must be met before the two licensure programs can be reauthorized.

New members sworn in and officers elected

Prior to the start of the meeting Wednesday, Dr. Lisa Escárcega, Dr. Karla Esser and Joyce Rankin were sworn in after winning their elections in November. State Board of Education members serve six-year terms. The board also unanimously re-elected Chairwoman Angelika Schroeder and Vice-Chairman Steve Durham to their leadership positions.

Timing of implementing adjustments to elementary and middle school frameworks discussed

The board discussed the possibility of adjusting the timeline for implementing  the elementary and middle school frameworks approved in October 2019. While a decision on the timeline was not reached due to the current uncertainty around assessments and ongoing impacts of the pandemic, the board shared a desire to make sure districts have a year to use adjusted frameworks for informational purposes before they are used for accountability ratings. 

State share entitlements 

The board also certified $335,864,781.35 in state share monthly entitlements to local school districts for December 2020. Under the provisions of the Public School Finance Act the State Board of Education is responsible for approving the funding calculations for local school districts' monthly payments from the state. 

Rulemaking hearings

The board voted to approve changes to the following:

  • Rules for the Administration of the Waiver of Statute and Rule. The rules were revised to align with a state law passed in 2020, known as the Crown Act, that prohibits discrimination based on hair texture, hair type or a protective hairstyle that is commonly or historically associated with race. The rule change clarifies that provisions of the Crown Act related to public education cannot be waived by the state board.
  • Rules for the Administration of the Educator Licensing Act of 1991. In addition to technical changes, amendments to the rules include legislated professional development requirements for renewal of professional educator licenses and an update to the Adult Basic Education certification process to align with Colorado Community College standards.
  • Rules for the Administration of the Adult Education and Literacy Grant Program. The new rules amend and update criteria for the grant, reinforcing the program’s focus to assist adults without a high school diploma earn a credential and/or employment. The current funding amount for the program is $970,000, which are matching funds for Colorado’s federal adult education grant.