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CDE's Tasks and Responsibilities
Unlike many other states, The Colorado Constitution and our state laws give much authority to administer schools to local communities. 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. The Colorado Constitution was amended in 1948 to authorize an elected State Board of Education to provide general supervision of public schools. The state board appoints the commissioner of education to oversee the department. Subject to the supervision of the state board, the commissioner and department administer federal and state education laws and the policies and regulations of the state board.
Colorado Department of Education's Tasks
- 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 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;
- implements education laws and policies enacted by the State Board of Education, state legislature and federal government;
- acts as a link between school districts and state and federal legislators;
- accumulates, evaluates, and makes public Colorado education data and information.
For additional information about CDE's responsibilities, see the following pages: