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Colorado READ Act

Teacher Reading to Students

About the Colorado READ Act

The Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act (Colorado READ Act) was passed by the Colorado legislature in 2012, giving the state the guiding philosophy, structure and resources to get children reading at grade level by the time they enter the fourth grade.

Stay Informed

Please sign up for the READ Act communication list in order to stay informed of changes and updates related to SB19-199, READ Act Implementation Measures. CDE will announce ways to participate and provide your feedback throughout the implementation process.

Sign up for the READ Act communication list

2019 READing Conference Highlighted Speaker: Steven Dykstra, PhD

Why Don't They Understand How Wrong They Are? (PPT)

In October 2019, the department hosted the 5th Annual READing conference. Steven Dykstra, Ph.D., a psychologist from Milwaukee Wisconsin, where he does writing, speaking, and advocacy on the subject of reading and literacy, was one of the keynote presenters. His presentation focused on our shared history of reading instruction - to show us how we got here, where that is, and how we might find the courage to do better.

Colorado READ Act Changes: SB19-199

After six years of implementation of the READ Act, schools and districts were not seeing the dramatic improvements in reading levels envisioned by state leaders.

  • Colorado has seen only a 2 percent increase in third graders meeting or exceeding expectations on the Colorado Measures of Academic Success tests in English language arts.
  • Statewide data shows only a 1 percent reduction in the number of students identified with a significant reading deficiency (SRD).

Reviewing the implementation of the READ Act, policy makers identified challenges that contributed to its lower-than-desired impact:

  • The statute defined clear allowable uses of READ Act per-pupil intervention funds, but it did not provide clarity regarding accountability for the use of funds.
  • Reporting requirements for the READ Act make it challenging to identify instructional programming and interventions effective in reducing the number of students identified with SRDs.
  • The need for increasing teacher knowledge on evidence-based practices for teaching reading.

View all READ Act Changes (PDF)

View the SB 19-199 webpage

K – 3 Teacher Evidence-Based Reading Training Requirements

Colorado school districts are also required to ensure all kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers complete evidence-based training in teaching reading by the 2021-22 school year, as a result of changes to the Colorado READ Act in SB 19-199.

Learn about the hour, content and assessment requirements to complete this training and the various training options that will be available for K-3 teachers

News and Events


READ Act Rules

The State Board of Education finalized the Rules for the Administration of the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act (READ Act), 1 CCR 301-9. This updates the rules to incorporate changes to the READ Act that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions.

Copy of Updated READ Rules (PDF)

2020 Approved Instructional Programming

During the Spring of 2020 CDE engaged in a review of the following: core, intervention and supplemental instructional programs. The Spring 2020 review process has been interrupted due to COVID-19. At this time CDE has reviewed about 80 percent of the programs submitted.

2020 Approved Instructional Programming

2020 Approved Professional Development

During the Spring of 2020 CDE engaged in a review of professional development that will meet the requirements of the evidence-based training in teaching reading required for K-3 teachers.  Due to the implications of Covid-19, the application to submit professional development programming for review was released only to vendors of professional development programming that was previously approved and on the READ Act Professional Development Advisory List.

2020 Approved Professional Development


Monthly READ Act Informational Webinars


In order to keep educators and other stakeholders informed of the changes in the READ Act brought about by SB 19-199, CDE will host monthly informational webinars.

Early Literacy Grant Rules Approved

SB 19-199 amended the Colorado READ Act and incorporated changes to the Early Literacy Grant program requiring an update to the rules. The state board approved the amended rules for the administration of the Early Literacy Grant program during the September board meeting. Updates include increased funding, additional reporting requirements and training for K-3 teachers.

Frequently Accessed Resources