UNC-Supported Legislation Secures Stipends for Colorado’s Teacher Education Students
Student educators across the state could have the opportunity to reduce the financial burdens they’re facing as they work their way toward becoming licensed teachers. On May 26, Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1220 into law. The legislation creates state-funded stipend programs for student educators, including compensation while completing clinical practice, payment for assessment fees and temporary educator loan forgiveness.
“We’re really excited about what this could offer our present students and how it may take down some of the barriers to attract more people into the teaching profession,” said Jared Stallones, Ph.D., the dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences (EBS). Stallones and other UNC faculty have been advocating for student teachers to receive financial support for years. During this legislative session, Stallones testified in front of the House and Senate Education Committees emphasizing how necessary the aid is.
According to the legislation, $52 million from the economic recovery and relief cash fund will go toward three programs: the student educator stipend program, the educator test stipend program and a temporary educator loan forgiveness program for educators hired for a hard-to-staff educator position.
“There have been grant and pilot programs throughout the country that aim to support student teachers,” said Stallones, “but this is the first time that I know of that a state has gotten behind this and tried to do this.”