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News Release - State Board reauthorizes MSU Denver's educator preparation programs

Aug. 13, 2020

State board reauthorizes MSU Denver's educator preparation programs 

Board reviews progress of schools and districts on accountability clock 

DENVER - The Colorado State Board of Education at its regular monthly meeting held on Wednesday and Thursday approved both MSU Denver’s traditional and alternative teacher licensure programs except for two endorsement areas. These two areas, elementary and early childhood, were approved on a conditional basis only for the 2020-21 academic year, allowing the university to continue implementing changes to content and instruction. Another review of the elementary and early childhood programs will be conducted, along with a state site visit, in spring 2021.

Staff presented progress of schools and districts on accountability clock
CDE staff presented information about the progress of 12 schools and two districts that are implementing improvement plans directed by the state board after five or more years of low student achievement. The presentation focused on adjustments to the school and district improvement plans as a result of the shift to remote learning last spring and planned adjustments this fall. The presentation and the progress monitoring reports for each school and district are available on the CDE website

Board maintains exclusive chartering authority of Pueblo 60
The state board denied a request from the Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences to revoke Pueblo School District 60’s exclusive chartering authority. Among its arguments, PSAS cited concerns that the district failed to assist the school with its long-term facility needs and unlawfully withheld $70,000 in per pupil revenue. Following the hearing, the board determined that the Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences failed to prove the district demonstrated a pattern of not providing fair and equitable treatment to its charter schools.

Updates provided on implementation of the READ Act
CDE staff updated the board on the review process for creating the Instructional Programming Advisory List and Professional Development Advisory List required by the 2019 changes to the READ Act. Districts using READ funds to purchase instructional programming must select programming that is included in the Instructional Programming Advisory List. 

The process of reviewing instructional programming for inclusion on the list started with CDE staff developing eligibility requirements that meet statutory requirements. Publishers submitted 123 programs to be considered for the list, and a review team made up of 30 district experts and 12 CDE program staff reviewed the submitted instructional materials. Following appeals as allowed by the READ Act, 56 programs were included on the Instructional Programming Advisory List. At this point, staff are still working to review 11 programs. 

The board directed staff to conduct a deeper review of two of the approved programs following concerns raised during public comment at the board meeting.

Staff also developed eligibility criteria for the Professional Development Advisory List, including the need to align with the science of reading. CDE received 14 applications, five vendors were ultimately included on the Professional Development Advisory List following the appeals process.

CARES Act monitoring 
Staff presented the board information on how CDE is monitoring funding distributed through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

Through the CARES Act, Colorado schools received:

  • Close to $121 million from the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER):  $108 million for Local Education Agencies based on their Title 1 allocation and approximately $12 million for state-level emergency needs to address issues related to COVID-19;
  • $510 million from CARES Relief Fund (CRF): per pupil funding for school districts, Charter School Institute, and facility schools as well as $25,000 to each BOCES for expenditures from March 1 to Dec. 30, 2020, to help schools comply with COVID-19-related public health measures and to mitigate the second-order effects of COVID-19. 
  • $44 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund: $33 million to the Colorado P-20 Equity and Innovation Fund, about $6 million to increase capacity for Colorado Empowered Learning and $3 million to the Quality Teacher Recruitment program.

CDE will monitor the ESSER spending to ensure the money will go to approved and allowable expenditures related to prevention, preparation for, or response to COVID-19, using existing monitoring procedures approved under the state’s ESSA plan. The State Controller’s Office will monitor CRF funds, and the governor’s office will monitor the GEER funding with CDE’s assistance. For more information on the CARES Act, please visit this webpage.

In other actions, the board: