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Reporting Educator Concerns
If you have a concern regarding a licensed (credentialed) educator in the State of Colorado in which the concern(s), if found to be true, can be considered substantial or continued, and likely to cause harm or endanger children and be of such severe nature as to render the credential holder unfit to continue teaching or to perform educational duties, you may file a report expressing your concern of alleged misconduct (see below). By doing so, you would be requesting an investigation of the allegations to determine if reasonable grounds exist to for the Colorado State Board of Education take disciplinary action against the license-holder’s credential.
Please note: The Colorado Department of Education has no legal authority to conduct an audit or independent investigation of a school district in regard to employee conduct; CDE's authority is over educator licensure only. If your concern is regarding a school district or any non-credentialed school district employee, please direct your concern to the school district’s board of education or to the school in which the employee works, as CDE would have no jurisdiction over the concern.
To file a report of alleged misconduct of an educator there are a few things that you need to know:
- Most importantly is the safety of children, if you have direct knowledge of misconduct that may be illegal, contact the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the alleged illegal activity took place and file a report if one has not already been filed.
- Next, or if no illegal activity exists, you need to contact the school's administration office and voice your concern to the assistant principal or to the principal.
- If you are not satisfied with the resolution from the school's administration, contact the school district's administration office and voice your concern.
- If you are not satisfied with the resolution from the school district's administration, contact that school districts board of education and voice your concern.
Once the school district has investigated your concern and if the misconduct meets the requirements of reporting to CDE, then the school district will notify CDE. View school district reporting requirements.
If after you have followed all of the above steps you still have not found resolution, you may file a concern with CDE's Office of Educator Preparation, Licensure & Effectiveness in writing by completing the Credentialed Educator Concern Report form. When completing the Credentialed Educator Concern Report form, be sure to supply as much information as possible about the subject of the concern and as much detail as possible regarding your concern. Once you submit this concern (by U.S. Mail) to CDE, it will become confidential and you will not be privy to any follow-up, next steps or outcomes unless the matter becomes public in a Colorado State Board of Education meeting. Meeting dates and agendas can be found at http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeboard. CDE will not contact you with any updates and no updates will be given to anyone other than the subject of the concern, unless contrary to law or rule. The subject of the concern may receive a copy of this and any other concern filed. You may be called to testify, and must be willing to testify, as a witness in a court of law. For questions, please email CDELicensingBackgroundUnit@cde.state.co.us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Once I file a concern, when will I be notified of the outcome?
A: Once you submit the concern it becomes confidential and you will not be privy to any follow-up, next steps or outcomes unless the matter becomes public in a Colorado State Board of Education meeting. If you are required to testify in court you will receive a subpoena to appear in court.
Q: My concern involves several educators. Can I lump them together into one Credentialed Educator Concern Report?
A: No, we must have one form for each educator you have a concern you want to report.
Q: Why can't I just email or call in my concern to CDE?
A: We must have your concern submitted to us in writing, on this form, that is signed and notarized where you are attesting to the information you are reporting. Email and/or anonymous submissions are not accepted, because if the concern rises to the level in which CDE/the state board acts to suspend, deny, revoke or annul a person's credential, your testimony may be necessary for prosecution. If you notify us via the phone, we will follow-up by having you submit your report to us using the proper form.
Q: Do I first have to report my concern to the school principal, then to the school district's administration office and then possibly to the school district's board of education before I report my concern to CDE?
A: Yes, according to Colorado statute, the local school district handles employment issues. Most school districts have policies on how to handle a concern or complaint. Typically the policy would ask that the concern be handled at the lowest level possible. This would mean that you first would be working with the school principal. If you were not satisfied with the response you received from the principal, the next step would be to contact the superintendent's office. If you are not satisfied with the response from the superintendent's office then you can ask about addressing the school district's school board. Only after these steps have been taken, should you submit your concern to CDE.
Q: Will the educator be notified of my concern?
A: It is very possible that the educator will be notified, and should he/she request a copy of the report, he/she is entitled to receive it.
Q: What if I do not notify the school district before submitting my report to CDE?
A: CDE will then send your report to that particular school district.
Q: What if my concern is regarding an educator in a private school?
A: CDE only has jurisdiction over educators that hold a Colorado license or authorization. As some private schools do not require that their staff be licensed, CDE may or may not have jurisdiction in which to act.