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Statute, Regulations and Policy


There are several entities responsible for and processes used in creating state-level statute, rules and policy. The Education Accountability Act of 2009 (SB 09-163) as amended by HB18-1355 authorize the Colorado Department of Education to conduct an annual review of the performance of public schools and districts in the state and to make recommendations to the State Board of Education concerning the type of school improvement plan to be implemented in each school and the accreditation category for each district.

State Statute

The Colorado Constitution places the power to make laws with the state legislature, the Colorado General Assembly. The General Assembly is comprised of 100 elected officials—65 Representatives and 35 Senators. The legislature's power to make laws is exercised through the process of considering and adopting bills. A bill generally either creates new law, amends existing law, or repeals existing law.

Colorado State Statute can be found on the Colorado General Assembly website.

The Education Accountability Act includes:

  • SB09-163 - The major purposes of the 2009 law include: (1) Aligning conflicting accountability systems into a single system that passes federal muster, (2) Modernizing and aligning reporting of state, district and school performance information (3) Creating a fairer, clearer and more effective cycle of support and intervention, (4) Enhancing state, district and school oversight of improvement efforts.
  • HB18-1355 - The key changes in this 2018 update are related to (1) the Accountability Clock/Performance Watch process and (2) adjustments to delegation of authority over performance indicator calculations and the Request to Reconsider process.

State Board of Education Rules / Code of Colorado Regulations (CCR)

The State Board of Education (SBE) is composed of nine elected officials representing Colorado's congressional districts. The Colorado Constitution vests in the SBE general supervision of the public schools of the state. Included in this authority is the power to promulgate rules with the force of law. However, before the SBE initiates any rulemaking, the Colorado General Assembly must first pass legislation authorizing the SBE to implement the legislation through rule.

Colorado State Board of Education Rules can be found on the Colorado Secretary of State website.

Education Accountability Rules include:

Colorado Department of Education Policy

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is the administrative arm of the SBE. The head of the department, the Commissioner of Education, is appointed by the SBE. The commissioner, along with department staff, have discretion to use professional expertise and judgement when making certain decisions about how to apply a statute or rule. This discretion is restricted by requirements of statute and rule and is informed by directives from SBE members and input gathered from districts, schools, educators, families and other interested parties. From time to time, CDE may develop written policies or guidelines that describe how CDE intends to exercise its discretion. Such written policy is important because it provides a roadmap that ensures executive functions are carried out in an objective, fair, and consistent manner.


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