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Governor Polis, Public Health Officials Provide Update on COVID Response, Discusses Plan for Vaccine Distribution When Available

For Immediate Release

Friday, October 16, 2020

Conor Cahill |[email protected] 

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News Release: Free copies of "The Little Red Fort" available for every four-year-old child in Colorado

Oct. 13, 2020
For more information, contact:
CDE Communications Division, 720-668-6434
  Office of the Lt. Governor, Serve Colorado, 202-270-9272

News Release 

Free copies of "The Little Red Fort" available for every four-year-old child in Colorado

One Book Colorado's book of the year will be available through Oct. 25

DENVER – A total of 75,000 free copies of the children’s book “The Little Red Fort,” written by Brenda Maier and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez, will be available in English and Spanish through Oct. 25 for every four year old in the state as part of the One Book Colorado program. A copy of “The Little Red Fort” is available for any child who is, or has been, four years old in 2020. 

One Book Colorado, now in its ninth year, is a privately funded collaboration among Serve Colorado, the Colorado State Library, the Denver Preschool Program, Denver7, Mile High United Way, and public and military libraries across the state. Additionally, Denver Public Libraries has joined as the program’s virtual event partner for 2020.

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CDE News Release

Oct. 8, 2020
For more information, contact:
CDE Communications Division, 303-866-2334

News Release

State Board of Education advances $29 million budget proposal to legislature
Board approves computer science teacher grant funding

DENVER – The State Board of Education at its regular monthly meeting advanced a proposal to the legislature to reduce the 2021-22 budget for education programs and CDE operations by $29 million. The proposed reductions meet the request for state agencies to identify a 10% reduction in their budgets in response to the economic decline during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The proposed reductions were designed to minimize impact on literacy programs, prioritize support for struggling schools and protect the state’s most vulnerable students.

The proposal continues reductions made by the legislature in the 2020-21 budget to the Computer Science Courses Grant Program, School Counselor Corp Grant and the Local School Food Purchasing Grant. 

In addition, the proposal would trim the BEST Cash Grant program by $8,952,444, and reduce capital for charter schools by $3,182,076. The proposal also would save $1,014,000 by suspending social studies assessments that are typically given on a sampling basis to fourth and seventh graders. The proposal also reduces $500,000 from the Concurrent Enrollment Expansion Program and a $2 million reduction in the Career Development Incentives grant.

The proposal includes a $885,000 reduction in CDE operations and $972,000 in personnel. A full list of the proposed reductions is available on the website. 

Computer science grants for teacher training approved
In other action, the board approved the $335,000 in Computer Science Teacher Education Grants for the 2020-21 school year, including training provided through districts and coordinated by CDE.  The grants are designed to expand teachers’ capacity to provide instruction in computer science. 

Board supports governor’s budget request for Imagination Library 
The board voted to support Gov. Jared Polis’ budget request of $410,000 to establish the Colorado Imagination Library program. Colorado has 26 local communities participating in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a voluntary program that provides an age-appropriate book every month to participating children ages 0 to 5. 

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National Education Summit Oct. 9-10, 2020 Focuses on Equity and Leadership in Action



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CHSAA Legislative Council Candidate Deadline is Oct 23

CHSAA Legislative Council

Application process will open Sept. 10, 2020

CASB has combined its 12 regions into five CHSAA regions by geographic area and elects five school board members to serve on the Colorado High School Activities Association Legislative Council (CHSAA). In December 2020, there will be two seats open on the CHSAA Legislative Council:

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Gov. Polis Provides Update on Colorado Response to COVID-19

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Shelby Wieman | [email protected]

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Calling for Student Performers and Artists for the 80th Annual CASB Convention!


Calling for Student Artists and Performers for CASB’s 80th Annual Convention!

The virtual platform for the 80th Annual CASB Convention will allow us to feature student art work and performers throughout the Convention. We are accepting student art work for our art contest, as well as applications for student performers. 

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House and Senate Education Committees meet on 9/23/20

House Education; Senate Education

Wednesday September 23, 2020
9:00 am | Virtual Online Only

PDF Agenda

Link to learn more
Overview and Statewide Snapshot  
State-level Guidance and District Plans for Reopening Schools  
Lunch Break  
Addressing Barriers to Remote and In-person Learning  
Budget and Funding Impacts

Participation in Colorado’s dual enrollment programs continues to grow

For more information:
Dana Smith, chief communications officer, Colorado Department of Education,
Office: 303-866-6682, [email protected]
Megan McDermott, director of communications, Colorado Department of Higher Education
Office: 720-394-3205, [email protected] 

Sept. 17, 2020

News Release 

Participation in Colorado’s dual enrollment programs continues to grow 


Concurrent Enrollment students had higher workforce earnings after five years than those who did not take college courses in high school

DENVER – Nearly 50,500 students took at least one dual enrollment course during the 2018-19 academic year, according to a report released today by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and Colorado Department of Education (CDE). This was an increase of nearly 4,700 students from 2017-18, or a 9.2% jump in dual enrollment participation overall. 
Often tuition-free, dual enrollment programs provide high school students with the opportunity to enroll in college-level courses and earn high school and college credit. Colorado’s Concurrent Enrollment (CE) program, established by the state Legislature in 2009, is still the most popular choice among dual enrollment programs for the fifth year in a row. Nearly 40% of Colorado high school graduates participate in the state’s Concurrent Enrollment program. 

Concurrent Enrollment continues to see sustained growth with an annual growth rate of 11% in 2018-19. Statewide, 172 school districts—or 97%—and 86% of high schools offer Concurrent Enrollment programs. 
“Concurrent enrollment is a terrific program that expands opportunity and opens doors for so many students,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. “These courses allow students to challenge themselves in new and innovative ways, explore new fields of study, and get prepared for good jobs while saving an estimated $50 million dollars on tuition.”  

More students of color took advantage of CE classes in the 2018-19 academic year. CE participation grew by 15% among African American and Black students, 12.1% among Latinx and Hispanic students, 11.3% among Asian students, and 10.5% among students who identify as more than one race or ethnicity.  
“These courses save students money, give them a head start on earning college credit, save them on time to degree and improve future wage outcomes, a win-win for our students and our economy,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director, CDHE.
Through Concurrent Enrollment or ASCENT programs, 3,116 students earned some type of postsecondary credential while in high school, a 13% increase over last year’s total high school credential completion number (2,758). In addition, Concurrent Enrollment students had higher workforce earnings after five years ($15,767.45 vs. $14,377.98) than those who did not take college courses in high school.  
“We know three out of four jobs in Colorado are going to require some sort of postsecondary education,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “That’s almost 3 million future jobs. We want to be sure the K-12 system prepares students as early as possible for that changing workforce. And Concurrent Enrollment courses along with other options such as internships and apprenticeships are great ways for students to get ready for their next steps beyond high school.”
This year’s report includes findings from a research study supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES grant number R305H170049) and the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab. This study found that students who attempted one or more Concurrent Enrollment credits in high school were dramatically more likely to matriculate to college within one year following high school graduation, persist in postsecondary education, complete postsecondary education, and have higher workforce earnings after postsecondary completion.  
Key findings from academic year 2018-19

  • Statewide, 50,416 students participated in dual enrollment programs of any type.  
  • Concurrent Enrollment continues to see sustained increases in participation, up more than 11% statewide with 34,519 students participating. 
  • High school students attempted 293,820 Concurrent Enrollment credit hours. The average number of credit hours attempted per students was 8.5 with an average of 8 credit hours passed. 
  • Participation in Concurrent Enrollment increased among students of color.  
  • More than 40% of students who participated in ASCENT in 2018-2019 were Latinx or Hispanic, a racial/ethnic group historically underrepresented in postsecondary education. 
  • 3,116 high school students earned some type of postsecondary credential after participating in Concurrent Enrollment or ASCENT programs. 
  • Two-year institutions saw the biggest percentage increase in Concurrent Enrollment participation with a 10.8 percentage point increase. 
  • At the district level, Jeffco Public Schools had the most students participating in Concurrent Enrollment by headcount (3,245 students), while Edison 54 JT School District had the highest percentage (79.1%) of students participating in Concurrent Enrollment. 
  • Statewide, 172 school districts—or 97%—and 86% of high schools offer Concurrent Enrollment programs.      
  • A large majority of the Concurrent Enrollment hours taken by students—94%—were passed in 2018-19 (0.3 percentage points less than 2017-2018). 
  • In 2018-2019, 31 districts had less than 5% Concurrent Enrollment participation among their 9th- through 12th-grade student population. This is a slight decrease from last year when 34 districts had less than 5% Concurrent Enrollment participation. 

This report was prepared by the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Colorado Department of Education and was submitted to the Education Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives pursuant to 22-35-112 C.R.S. Read the complete report
*In this report, “dual enrollment” refers to the broad array of programs available to high school students that allow them to take college-level courses for free. “Concurrent Enrollment” refers only to statewide programs created by House Bill 09-1319 and detailed in the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act (C.R.S. 22-35-101 et seq.). 

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Bennet, King Build Support for BRIDGE Act to Deploy “Future-Proof” Broadband Nationwide


Monday, September 14, 2020

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U.S. Department of Education awards Colorado five-year, $16 million grant for literacy advancement

View this email in your browser
Sept. 9, 2020 
For more information, contact:
CDE Communications Division

News Release


U.S. Department of Education awards Colorado five-year, $16 million grant for literacy advancement  

DENVER – The U.S. Department of Education awarded Colorado a $16 million grant to implement the Colorado Comprehensive Literacy Project, which aims to advance literacy skills for children from birth to grade 12 with special emphasis on disadvantaged children, including children living in poverty, English learners and children with disabilities.

The Comprehensive Literacy State Development Program is a competitive federal grant that seeks to improve literacy in the state by using evidence-based practices, activities and interventions, including pre-literacy skills. The grant will span five years and will provide funding to districts through a competitive grant process.

“We are so thrilled to receive this grant—especially in tough budget times," said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. "This funding will enable the state to build upon the progress from the READ Act, which focuses resources on students in kindergarten through third grade. This grant will allow us to support learning prior to kindergarten and after third grade.  And it will allow us to focus on historically underserved populations.”

The grant will provide professional development and technical assistance, literacy coaching, and will help districts disseminate family literacy information. Ninety-five percent of the funds will be directed to school districts, both rural and urban that are geographically diverse, and funds will be distributed to at least three Qualified Opportunity Zones throughout Colorado.

The Colorado Comprehensive Literacy Project activities will also create an infrastructure for districts to develop their own local literacy plans and to apply for funding to implement research-based literacy strategies and interventions. The timeline and process for distributing the funds through a competitive process is still being determined. 

For more information about the Comprehensive Literacy State Development Program, please click here. 


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Gov. Polis Launches $32 Million RISE Education Fund

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Conor Cahill | [email protected] 

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CDE News Release

Aug. 13, 2020
For more information, contact:
CDE Communications Division

News Release

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. 

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CDE News Release

July 13, 2020
For more information, contact:
CDE Communications Division

News Release

CDE to offer optional SAT and PSAT tests this fall at no cost to public school seniors and juniors

DENVER -  Colorado school districts and charter schools will have the opportunity this fall to offer their 12th and 11th grade students the SAT and PSAT at no cost to the student.  

The Colorado Department of Education will pay for the assessments that will be administered during the school day on specific dates in September and October, using existing funds designated for assessments. 

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CDE News Release

July 8, 2020
For more information, contact:
CDE Communications Division

News Release

State Board modifies graduation guidelines menu for 2020-21 school year

DENVER -  The State Board of Education at its regular monthly meeting granted districts flexibility with the state’s graduation options because of the disruption to learning and the cancellation or limited availability of several of the tests last spring. 

The state’s graduation guidelines were scheduled to be implemented for the first time for the class of 2021. However, the menu of options for demonstrating readiness for graduation includes the SAT, ACT, Accuplacer and IB assessments, some of which were cancelled or limited last spring because of the pandemic.

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CDE News Release_11Jun20

June 11, 2020

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Governor Polis Announces $44 Million for Education in Federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Shelby Wieman | [email protected] | 303-957-6011

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CASE Call to Action


Dear CASE members,

As you know, Colorado is in a budget crisis due to dramatically reduced state revenue caused by COVID-19. Lawmakers face a funding shortfall of roughly $3.3 billion for the next fiscal year, which comprises about 25% of the state General Fund.

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NEWS RELEASE: 135 groups urge lawmakers to avoid cuts

Groups urge lawmakers to consider three-pronged plan to avoid cuts
The economic fallout from the COVID-19 public health crisis also has created the largest budgetary shortfall in Colorado history, forcing state legislators to make some devastating decisions – including potentially cutting $3.3 billion in state funding for education, health care and other critical public services
Addressing such urgent and growing concerns, a diverse coalition of 135 organizations is encouraging state legislators and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to apply a three-pronged approach to mitigate some of the state’s most pressing public health, economic and budgeting woes. Led by Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) and Colorado Fiscal Institute (CFI), the coalition is urging members of the Joint Budget Committee to consider passing temporary emergency tax reforms under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) and take other measures to reduce the scale of cuts and forge a more equitable path forward for children, Colorado’s rural areas, elder citizens, people with disabilities and communities of color particularly hurt by the ongoing crisis.
The coalition delivered a joint letter to lawmakers advocating for a three-pronged approach that includes:
  1. The appropriate use of state budget reserves
  2. The passage of a temporary state tax that will raise substantial revenue and alleviate the disproportionate tax burden our low-income families are carrying; and 
  3. Federal aid that Colorado can use to fill budget gaps.
To advance the proposal, lawmakers need to declare a health emergency through a legislative joint resolution with a two-thirds vote; re-define the non-cash part of the emergency reserve so that state-owned buildings don’t have to be sold and pass a temporary tax measure in both the House and the Senate with a two-thirds majority. When combined with emergency reserves and federal aid, the approach would likely mitigate the severe budgetary hemorrhaging that would otherwise follow this year and in years to come, while better positioning Colorado for economic recovery. 
Colorado citizens concerned about the ramifications of potential budget cuts who support the coalition’s three-pronged approach can learn more through CCLP and CFI’s websites, contact members of Colorado’s Joint Budget Committee and reach out to their local representatives in the Colorado Legislature.
Read details about the proposal in the complete news release. Also, visit CCLP's #RecoverCO Resources webpage to learn how to take action and ensure this approach gets on the table as legislators consider the budget.
For media inquiries about the campaign, contact Elliot Goldbaum, CFI’s Director of Strategic Communications at [email protected] or Bob Mook, CCLP’s Communications Director at [email protected].

Gov. Polis, CO Dept. of Education and the Colorado Education Initiative Partner with RMPBS


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