Jared Polis, Democratic candidate for governor of Colorado, today released a comprehensive plan to make Colorado the best state in the nation for students, parents, and teachers.
Key elements of the education plan, which is available in full here, include:
- Making free, full-day kindergarten and preschool available in every community in Colorado;
- Ending our teacher shortage by building affordable housing and providing student loan relief for teachers who commit to serving in high-need and rural areas;
- Raising teacher pay and providing opportunities for teachers to grow professionally;
- Giving teachers a voice on the job by supporting collective bargaining rights and stopping the vilification of teachers;
- Putting Coloradans to work building and renovating our schools;
- Increasing collaboration with teacher-led professional development communities; and
- Equipping all students with the skills to compete in a 21st-century economy
“It’s time for us to not just talk about valuing teachers and investing in our students, but to actually roll up our sleeves and get it done,” Polis said. “My goal as governor will be to build an education system here in Colorado where teachers are respected, where public schools in every community are supported, and where every child gets a strong start and the great education they need to unlock a bright future. I’m proud to be partnering with dedicated Colorado educators and parents to craft a bold plan to overcome the challenges we face.”
“Jared’s plan will tackle the challenges that have been plaguing Colorado’s public education system for decades, including low pay, a teacher shortage, and underfunded schools across our state,” said Jamie Davis, a teacher and instructional coach in Cañon City. “These are bold ideas, but they are also detailed and thoughtful. Jared believes that education is the single most meaningful investment America can make in its economic future and in its people. Knowing Jared’s background fighting for our public schools, I trust him to get the job done.”
“Jared’s plan is a roadmap for serving our most vulnerable kids,” said Greeley School Board Member Rhonda Solis. “It’s a roadmap for making sure no child is falling through the cracks, and that all our children — no matter who they are or where they live — are prepared to compete in a 21st-century economy. It’s more than an education plan. It’s also a jobs plan.”
“Many candidates offer vague platitudes and soundbites about how to best improve public education and serve our kids — ideas that are based on limited understanding and myths about education,” said Shari Crist, an assistant principal, parent, and former teacher in Arvada. “Jared offers a vision that is well thought out, researched, and based on real needs. He has created a comprehensive and visionary policy that will lift up educators, lift up our schools, and most importantly, lift up all of our kids. Based on his strong record of success, there is no better friend for teachers, parents, or public schools to have in the governor’s office than Jared Polis.”
“Our public schools here in Colorado face many challenges, including a shortage of instructional personnel, limited opportunities for families in rural and low-income areas, and the constant attacks on the performance of public school teachers in the face of ever-dwindling resources,” said Karlee Gutierrez, a 4th-grade teacher in Wellington. “I’m glad to see Jared advancing a thoughtful plan to tackle these challenges head on and ensure that our public schools are equipped to meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers.”
Polis, who himself served as a school superintendent, was elected to a six-year term on the Colorado Board of Education, where he went on to be chairman. In Congress, he serves on the Education and Workforce Committee and helped write the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act, the law that replaced No Child Left Behind.