Removing Insurmountable Barriers

High School Students With Teacher In Class Using Laptops Smiling

On March 2, 2022, the House Education Committee heard House Bill 22-1220, which will remove barriers to support teacher candidates entering the workforce. The bill passed on a 8-1 vote and now will be heard in the Appropriations Committee. During the hearing educators shared their passion removing educator barriers to increase teacher diversity. We are excited to share their testimony in support of increased teacher diversity and House Bill 22-1220.

Thank you, Madam Chair and Madam Vice Chair and members of the committee. 

I am Dr. Theresa Newsom, and I have been an educator 41 years including 26 years in Colorado. I am testifying in support of House Bill 22-1220. 

As the spouse of an Enlisted Air Force Veteran, I received my first teaching credential from Fresno State in California before we were transferred to South Carolina where I needed to obtain another license to meet their requirements. From there my husband and I were sent to England where I taught for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools at Feltwell AFB in East Anglia for 7 years. Yes, another license was needed. Then we were transferred back to CA where I had to become licensed again. I taught in the Vandenburg AFB community 7 years before coming to Colorado where I was licensed again due to different requirements from the previous locations and no reciprocity between states. 

In order for me to obtain new licenses I needed to pay fees and complete assessment competencies which included traveling to test sites. There were times I felt these barriers were insurmountable due to taking course work and simultaneously raising three children, two who are adopted.  

I completed my Master’s degree in Curriculum and instruction, became a school administrator (another CO license needed) and of course I still renew both licenses every 5 years to remain eligible to work in this state. In addition, I completed my competences to become a licensed Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher. I currently work in the field of gifted education today as the only Black GT teacher in Southern CO.  

House Bill 22-1220 will remove financial and access barriers to ensure a more diverse teacher workforce in Colorado. I respectfully ask for your ‘yes’ today on House Bill 22-1220. Thank you. 

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