What is the READ Act Professional Training requirement and how does it affect me?

Colorado school districts are required to ensure all K-3 teachers complete evidence-based training in the teaching of reading as a result of changes to the Colorado READ Act in SB 19-199. Following a six-month extension approved by the State Board of Education, all K-3 teachers must complete the teacher training by Jan. 31, 2022. This is a one-time requirement for teachers. Each year going forward, districts will need to make sure teachers new to K-3 have met this requirement.

The READ Act training requirement must:

  • Consist of a minimum of 45 hours.
  • Address the content of the educator preparation literacy standards; and 
  • include an end-of-course assessment that teachers can provide evidence of passing.

Districts may demonstrate that their teachers have successfully completed evidenced-based training in teaching reading in any of the following ways: 

  • passed a state board-approved assessment of knowledge required to teach reading; or
  • successfully completed a CDE-provided reading training designed to meet this requirement; or
  • provided documentation of passing a CDE-approved undergraduate or graduate reading course; or
  • provided documentation of passing a CDE-approved district or BOCES reading course; or
  • holds a state of Colorado endorsement as a Reading Teacher or Reading Specialist.

A local education provider that is not in compliance may request a one-year extension from CDE based on a demonstration of good cause for inability to comply.

Is the READ Act requirement tied to licensure?

  • The K-3 teacher training requirement does not affect a teacher's licensure status. Districts are responsible for ensuring all of their K-3 teachers have met this requirement by January 31, 2022 in order to be able to receive READ per-pupil intervention funds for the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Although this requirement is not tied to a teacher’s ability to renew their license, once CDE confirms that a teacher has fulfilled the requirement, a designation will be added to the teacher’s license to allow ease of future reference for educators and districts.
  • Educators can also use this professional development as part of their 90 clock hours toward professional licensure renewal credit.

Can the READ Act professional development and end of course assessment be bargained or addressed in a local policy council?

  • Absolutely! If a district chooses to continue receiving READ Act dollars going forward, it is imperative that the district meet the requirements set forth in SB 19-199 by January 31, 2022, not an individual teacher. 
  • Many collective bargaining agreements already address professional development and learning that include potential trade time and/or compensation for professional development that happens outside of the work day. Other districts are including this professional development during the work day (i.e. district professional learning days or early release times).
  • Since this mandate requires an additional 45 hours of training along with an end of course assessment, it is highly recommended that if no such language around professional development exists in local policy, collective bargaining agreement, or other memorandum of understanding, educator teams should be convened to address and bargain this issue immediately. 
  • Additionally, any costs incurred by the K-3 educator, such as taking and passing the Praxis Teaching Reading: Elementary 5205, should immediately be addressed as well.
  • Districts are required to notify affected educators by 12/1/2020 of the specific requirements and timelines to meet this mandate in order to be eligible for the extension and to receive future READ Act dollars.


How is the Colorado Education Association helping union members meet the READ Act requirement?

The CEA has assembled a team of four CEA members to build the highest quality, evidence/research-based online course to help union members meet the READ Act requirement. These union leaders are senior level COpilot facilitators and elementary reading specialists representing both large (urban/suburban) and small (rural) local associations.  

Each section of Redefining Reading will be fully facilitated by one of these four members, which means the class content is not “sit and get.” Rather, course participants will work collaboratively with other educators across Colorado to study and improve reading instruction.

Is the Redefining Reading course approved by the Colorado Department of Education?

  • CEA is currently submitting the appropriate application for the Redefining Reading course to be approved by CDE. CEA hopes to have approval in January 2021.

When does the READ Act course start?

  • Redefining Reading, The READ Act COpilot course, will launch with four sections at the beginning of January 2021. The CEA hopes to offer four additional sections in March 2021 and at least eight more sections during the Summer 2021 term.

How do I enroll in Redefining Reading, the CEA READ Act course?

  • To enroll, you must have a CEA COpilot account. To create an account, visit and verify your union membership. After creating your account, search for Redefining Reading, add a class section to your cart, and proceed with checkout.

Who has access to the READ Act Course Credit on COpilot?

  • Only union members who identify as Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd, Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, or K - 5 in COpilot can access the READ Act Course Credit which is a coupon ($135 value) that makes the Redefining Reading course free for qualifying union members.

Can non-members take the Redefining Reading course?

  • Yes. Non-members can take the course, although they will pay the full non-member enrollment fee of $235. Non-members DO NOT have access to the READ Act Course discount.

Will Redefining Reading be eligible for graduate credit from Adams State University?

  • Yes. The course will be eligible for three graduate credits from Adams State University. The graduate credit is optional and costs an additional $55 per credit paid directly to Adams State University. Class participants who register for graduate credit and successfully complete a class section will receive official transcripts via mail shortly after the class section concludes.

Will my previous COpilot courses count towards meeting the READ Act requirement?

  • Unfortunately, previous COpilot coursework will not count towards meeting the READ Act requirement due to the fact the courses haven’t been approved for this purpose.

How do I submit proof I’ve completed the Redefining Reading course to CDE?

  • In order to submit proof of course completion to CDE, you will need the following documentation:
    • Scored End of Course Assessment — This will be available upon completing the final assessment in a Redefining Reading class section on COpilot.
    • Submission Worksheet Parts 1, 2 and 3 — A pre-filled PDF copy of this document will be available in each Redefining Reading class section. Educators will be responsible for filling out their personal information on the editable version of the worksheet.
    • Syllabus/outline — Course participants will find a downloadable version of the syllabus in the Course Documents section of each class section.
    • Certificate of completion that includes the number of content hours — Certificates will be delivered automatically via email after participants complete a class section and fill out the class evaluation form. Certificates will also be available in the My Certificates section for each COpilot user.