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News Release - Members of State Board of Education ask Colorado governor to impose no state-level regulation on in-person learning

June 30, 2021

Members of the State Board of Education ask Colorado governor to return authority over in-person learning to superintendents

DENVER -- Members of the Colorado State Board of Education on Tuesday sent a signed letter (PDF) to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis urging “little to no state-level regulation of in-person learning” next school year. 

“As we enter into the recovery phase of the pandemic, it is paramount for us to prioritize both academic progress and well-being of students who experienced disruptions in their learning opportunities last year,” the letter said. “We, the undersigned members of the Colorado State Board of Education, believe unrestricted in-person learning is best for students and trust superintendents and local boards to make decisions that best support their students, families and communities."

The letter was signed by five of the seven-member board -- Chairwoman Angelika Schroeder, D-Boulder; and Vice-Chairman Steve Durham, R-Colorado Springs; as well as members Joyce Rankin, R-Carbondale; Lisa Escárcega, D-Denver; and Debora Scheffel, R-Parker.

“The experience gained during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as previous years of experience mitigating influenza and other infectious disease outbreaks, have taught superintendents and their staff what strategies work best in their communities,” the letter said. “During the upcoming 2021-22 school year, superintendents and local boards must have the authority to make decisions in support of unrestricted in-person learning. 

“With COVID transmission rates at a much less dangerous level, we believe it is safe to return to our normal operating practice in Colorado of giving superintendents and local boards the authority to make sound decisions about instruction and school procedures.”

The State Board of Education is the governing board of the Colorado Department of Education. The board is made up of elected members who represent each of the state’s seven congressional districts.