State working to review 8K educators licenses around start of school year

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — As districts across Colorado are working to fill openings for good teachers, FOX31 Problem Solvers are hearing from candidates facing a licensing hurdle that prevented them from applying all together.

Forty-four days after applying to transfer his license from Washington to Colorado, teacher Justin Scheib called on the Problem Solvers for help. 

Scheib got his teaching license in Washington state back in 2018. He’s served as substitute teacher, a coach for years and, most recently, a full time seventh and eighth grade literature and social studies teacher.

“I left Washington, moved to Colorado, my fiancé is living there,” Scheib said. “I figured I’d pick up, and do exactly what I was doing in Washington in Colorado.”

Days after moving to Colorado in July, Scheib got his transcripts sent over, fingerprints, background checks and applied to transfer his teaching license in the state of Colorado.

“Two weeks after submitting my application they responded with an email, an autogenerated email, saying they had an influx of applicants,” he said. 

Within an hour of us reaching out Friday, the state replied and approved his license. However, what he and many others didn’t realize is that applicants do not need to wait for the stamp of approval to start applying to teaching jobs.

The Colorado Department of Education tells the Problem Solvers he’s one of around 8,000 educator licenses currently in the queue.

CDE says it’s seeing a 25% hike in licensing requests this year over any other year. While last year the average wait was 10 business days, currently it’s averaging around seven. 

CDE officials say they are hiring additional temporary staff to keep up.

Problem Solvers reached out to a number of local districts asking how many full time teacher jobs are still available. Here are the following responses we have received so far: 

Jefferson County Public Schools:

Per human resources, as of today, we have 13 general education teaching positions open and seven special education teaching positions open.

Applicants can visit our job board for information and to apply.

Denver Public Schools:

We have filled 93% of our teacher openings, and we have 94 openings remaining as of this morning. As of right now, the 94 positions are on our radar as openings that we need to fill. However, that number may be lower as we start to talk to schools and determine the needs of our schools. This could be based on changes in enrollment, educators deciding to return when they were not expected to return, or the job being posted in error. Over the next two weeks, we will see a lot of shifts in our openings. With such a large school district, it takes time for us to validate all our openings and needs across the district. 

Boulder Valley School District:

We currently have 116 job vacancies at Boulder Valley and 21 of them are for licensed teaching positions.

Elementary: 9
Middle/High: 5
Charter: 3
Counselor: 1
Special Education: 3
Applicants can apply here: https://jobs.bvsd.org/

Adams 12 Five Star Schools:

We have 28 certified openings which include not only teachers, but Special Service Providers, also.

2 Elementary
6 Secondary
11 Special Ed
3 Specials (electives)
3 Counselors
3 SSPs

Applications to Adams 12 Five Star Schools can be found on the district’s site.

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