Thursday, April 17, 2008

Senate Says "Yes" to Teach Colorado Program

The Senate passed Thursday a bill that would create a scholarship program for college students who agree to teach in the state's public and charter schools.

SB 133 is aimed at encouraging more students to teach math, science, special education and English. However, the "Teach for Colorado" scholarship program it authorizes is not limited to those fields.

It would make the financial assistance available both to students enrolled in a first bachelors degree program and students who already have bachelors or advanced degrees but who are enrolled in teacher preparation programs at the state's universities.

Students who agree to teach in rural or "high poverty" school districts would get higher priority consideration for the scholarship money.

The bill appropriates $1 million to the Department of Higher Education to launch the "Teach Colorado" program and authorizes the department to accept gifts and grants from the private sector to help fund the program.

SB 133 is sponsored by Sen. Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, and Rep. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood.

The measure must gain approval on third reading in the Senate before being taken up by the House.