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Education Workforce Program


The application window for the Education Workforce Program Grant is currently closed. Click here to view a list of recipients.

Overview of Education Workforce Fund

Since March 2020, Colorado districts, BOCES, and other local education agencies (LEAs) have experienced an unprecedented influx of federal funding to support the work of LEAs in transitioning to remote and hybrid learning environments, supporting workforce needs, safely reopening schools, and supporting students in completing the learning interrupted by the pandemic. These funds are a once in a generation opportunity for Colorado's districts to not only recover from the problems caused and exacerbated by the pandemic but also, through the acceleration of learning, emerge from the global health crisis stronger than ever.

As part of these recovery efforts, it is critical for schools and districts to have a strong, talented education workforce to provide safe, in-person learning and address the social, emotional, mental health, and academic impact of the pandemic. This includes ensuring educators, leaders, and support staff are in place and supported as they offer programs to provide in-person learning, address learning loss, complete unfinished learning, and meet the COVID-related needs of Colorado students.

For this reason, the Colorado Department of Education has created an Education Workforce Program to ensure LEAs have the capacity to meet the need for recruiting, retaining, and supporting the educator workforce. This program is funded through the American Rescue Plan's Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER II) funds.

Education Workforce Program Grants

This program exists to provide funding that supports Colorado LEAs in securing a strong, talented education workforce that can ensure safe in-person learning, address learning loss, complete unfinished learning, and meet the COVID-related needs of Colorado students. Through the assistance funded under this program, LEAs will be able to ensure ongoing and high-quality learning continues for all students.

Eligible Applicants:

Eligible entities may apply for the grant. The term “eligible entity” means

  • A School District on behalf of all or a subset of schools;
    • A non-charter school may not submit a standalone application outside of their district.
  • A Board of Cooperative Services (BOCES);
  • A Charter School authorized by a School District;
  • A Charter School authorized by the Charter School Institute;
  • A Facility School;
  • The Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind;
  • Indian tribe or tribal organization (as such terms are defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)); or
  • A consortium of two or more such agencies, organizations, or entities.

An intermediary unit, such as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), may apply for and receive a grant. A consortium of eligible applicants may apply together such as a consortium of local education agencies of community-based organizations. However, one entity must be designated as the lead fiscal agent of the consortium. LEAs may not apply as an individual entity and a consortium entity.

Priority Considerations:

Available grant funding will be distributed to eligible programs based on the application rubric (described in “Application Scoring”). Priority will be given to applications meeting the following priority considerations:

  • Demonstration of workforce shortages and needs; and
  • Applications with a clear and actionable plan for recruiting, retaining, and developing educators and achieving the goals of this program.

Allowable Use of Funds:

Funds must be expended in a way that aligns with the plans submitted through the application and align with the allowable uses as defined through ARP ESSER II and all expenditures must be allocable, allowable, and reasonable as defined by 2 CFR 200. These funds are specific to this program, the Education Workforce Program, and uses of funds for any other purpose are not allowed.

Examples of allowable activities include, but are not limited to, supporting LEAs in:

  • Increasing educator and staff compensation;
  • Building and maintaining a cadre of high-quality substitute educators;
  • Supporting educator well-being, including improved working conditions;
  • Increasing the availability of qualified adults and personnel to support educators, students, and staff; and
  • Making investments in grow your own programs and the educator pipeline.

Please see the U.S. Department of Education's "ED COVID-19 HANDBOOK: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students' Needs (PDF)" for examples of how to implement these and other allowable activities.

Unallowable uses of funds include but are not limited to:

  • Salary and benefits for executives; and
  • The purchase or rehabilitation of real property.

Review Process and Timeline:

Applications will be reviewed by CDE staff to ensure they contain all required components. Applicants will be notified of final award status no later than April 22, 2022.

Note: This is a competitive process -- applicants must score at least 60 points out of the 80 possible points to be approved for funding. Additional points are awarded for applications meeting the priority considerations as outlined above in "Priority Considerations". Applications that score below 60 points may be asked to submit revisions that would bring the application up to a fundable level. There is no guarantee that submitting an application will result in funding or funding at the requested level. All award decisions are final. Applicants that do not meet the qualifications may reapply for future grant opportunities.

Submission Process and Deadline:

Applications must be completed and submitted through the online application on the CDE website by Friday, March 25, 2022, at 11:59 pm. The Excel Budget Workbook and Program Assurances Form must also be uploaded to the Smartsheet form at the time of submission.

Application resources and required documents to include in the submission are available on CDE's Education Workforce Program webpage. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Applicants can request an automated confirmation email from the online system upon submission. If you do not receive this confirmation within 24 hours after the deadline, please contact

Application Assistance

Program Questions:
Contact Jennifer Simons-Lindsey
Educator Talent Grants Program Manager
Or call 720-670-2235

Fiscal-Related Questions:
Contact Tricia Miller
Or call 303-877-2154

Application Process Questions:
Contact Kim Burnham
Or call 720-607-1495