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Grants Fund Effort to Place Effective Teachers in Colorado's Urban and Rural School Districts
DENVER, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PEBC (Public Education & Business Coalition), a nonprofit that works with teachers, schools and districts to cultivate highly effective K-12 educators to elevate student achievement, has been awarded grants from the Boettcher Foundation and Colorado Department of Education (CDE) totaling $6.47 million to support its Colorado Boettcher Teacher Residency (CBTR) initiative over the next five years. CBTR recruits, selects, trains and retains individuals to become effective teachers by providing an intensive and supportive residency teacher training program, combining master's level coursework with hands-on learning in a classroom.
"These grants represent a long-term commitment by the state and the Boettcher Foundation in creating effective educators to serve in our most challenged communities. This dedication to the field and our students is an example of how a state can be proactive in developing a well-prepared pipeline of talent to serve districts across the state and into the future," said Rosann Ward, president of PEBC.
The Boettcher Foundation awarded PEBC with $5 million in grant funding spanning through 2019 (this is in addition to the $10 million the Foundation has invested over the past 10 years). Also, the Colorado Department of Education awarded PEBC with a two-year grant totaling $1.47 million. Both grants will support the Residency's expansion into current and new partner districts that have historically struggled to recruit and retain new teachers, especially those in rural areas.
"For nearly 10 years, the Colorado Boettcher Teacher Residency has developed a network of well-trained, effective educators who have made a tremendous impact in our Colorado schools," said Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation. "We are pleased to continue our support of the Residency, so it can continue its legacy of success and prepare and retain teachers in the Colorado communities that need them most."
Earlier this year, CBTR partnered with Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo. to launch its first rural residency cohort in the San Luis Valley, a region where more than 70 percent of students qualify for free and reduced price lunches. For this region and other rural Colorado school districts, CBTR is recruiting locally to foster a deeper commitment to the profession and retain effective teachers in areas where the need is especially high.
Supported by the Boettcher Foundation and CDE grants, CBTR will have the opportunity to expand its reach to more school districts in southern Colorado starting in 2013-2014, including: Alamosa School District RE-11J, Center Consolidated School District 26JT, Crowley County School District RE-1J (Ordway), Durango School District 9-R, East Otero School District R-1 (La Junta), Huerfano School District RE-1 (Walsenburg), Ignacio School District 11-JT, Monte Vista School District, Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 and North Conejos School District RE-1J. CBTR selected these districts based on poverty level, interest and geographic location in southern Colorado.
"Our hope is that this grant funding attracts, supports and retains highly qualified teachers in areas of the state that are hard to staff," said Jill Hawley, associate commissioner of Achievement and Strategy at the Colorado Department of Education. "We look forward to learning from PEBC's efforts."
Since its establishment in 2004, CBTR has prepared and retained a network of 150 effective teachers who have been placed in high-needs school districts throughout Colorado, including: Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Adams 50, Aurora Public Schools, Brighton School District, Cherry Creek School District, Commerce City, Denver Public Schools, Eagle County School District, Jeffco School District, Mapleton Public Schools, Moffat County School District RE-1 and St. Vrain Valley School District, among others. CBTR's five-year teacher retention rate exceeds 90 percent, compared with a national average of 50 percent. For more information about PEBC and its Colorado Boettcher Teacher Residency initiative, visit www.pebc.org.
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