Section 22-94-101, C.R.S. (Senate Bill 13-260), created the Quality Teacher Recruitment Program. The program authorizes CDE to award grants to organizations working in concert with school districts or board of cooperative educational services (BOCES) to recruit, select, train, and retain highly qualified teachers in areas that have had historic difficulty in attracting and keeping quality teachers. The program also includes funding for CDE to contract with a third-party evaluator to track and review the program’s outcomes over the two-year duration of the grant.
Eligible applicants were required to have a documented history of recruiting, training, and retaining highly qualified teachers in areas of Colorado and other states that have had historic difficulty in attracting teachers and needed to demonstrate that the teachers it had placed had achieved high academic growth from their students. Applicants were also required to obtain no less than 100% matching funds from private donors.
In December 2013, the Public Education Business Coalition (PEBC) and Teach for America (TFA) were selected as grant recipients. Each organization will receive $1,470,000 for the two-year grant period and will be expected to place teachers in partner districts by the start of the 2014-15 school year. PEBC will use grant funding to place 65 teachers in the following 13 districts: Adams 12, Aurora, Jefferson County, Alamosa, Center, North Conejos, Monte Vista, Crowley, East Otero, Huerfano, Durango, Montezuma-Cortez, and Ignacio. TFA will use grant funding to place 95 teachers in Denver Public Schools, Harrison School District 2, and Pueblo City Schools.
The Quality Teacher Recruitment Grant legislation also authorized the department to contract with a third-party evaluator to track and review the program’s outcomes over the duration of the grant. The OMNI Institute was selected as the evaluator for this program and has completed its analysis of the first-year outcomes for the grants. Please note that, when the report was initially submitted in September, final placement information for teachers was not yet available. Final placement information is available in Appendix B.
In the 2014-15 school year, grant recipients will use their grant funds to further train and support the teachers they have placed. A report on the second year of program implementation will be provided in the fall of 2015.