Help build the Next Education Workforce

Apply now to build team-based staffing models that support equity and improve learning outcomes in Colorado

Via the Opportunity Now Colorado Grant Program, Colorado schools that are interested in launching at least one team can now receive a year of strategic planning and support.

Opportunity Now Colorado is an $85 million grant program catalyzing transformative change for Colorado’s workforce. As a grant initiative of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the program seeks innovative solutions to meet Colorado’s workforce needs through industry and education collaboration.

Arizona State University, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education, the Public Education & Business Coalition, and South Central BOCES, has won an Opportunity Now grant to make teaching jobs more appealing, particularly in rural areas, to Coloradans by bringing together key school systems and organizations to build local capacity to design and implement Next Education Workforce team-based staffing models in schools.


Why redesign how we staff schools?
  • Most early-career teachers are surviving, not thriving
  • Delivering deeper and personalized learning for all students is nearly impossible when working alone
  • Teaching remains an isolating profession and teachers lack opportunity to collaborate and the autonomy typically given to members of other professions
  • On the whole, the educator workforce lacks the rich diversity of the students it serves

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How do we create more dynamic staffing models?
One solution will not address all of the challenges listed above. However, we believe that teams of educators can work together to deliver better outcomes for learners and make the job of teaching more rewarding.

Each educator brings a set of unique skills and strengths. Some are better at communicating with families; others excel at building class culture or data-driven instruction. Team-based models allow educators to lean into their strengths. Furthermore, if an educator is absent, the team can dynamically adjust to minimize disruptions to learning.

Team-based staffing models also create new opportunities for role differentiation and specialization. Schools building these models have created lead teacher positions; designed new roles for paraeducators, part-time and retired teachers; and created sustainable, paid teacher residencies. Models look different in elementary and secondary environments. And differently in rural and urban communities. Context drives the design.

View school spotlights to learn how different schools are applying elements of the Next Education Workforce.

Where can I learn more about Next Education Workforce models?

To build the Next Education Workforce, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College works with schools and other partners to 1) provide all students with deeper and personalized learning by building teams of educators with distributed expertise, and 2) empower educators by developing better ways to enter the profession, specialize and advance. Explore this collection to learn more about the elements of Next Education Workforce models.


How can I explore or launch a Next Education Workforce model?

Colorado school and system leaders are invited to submit a brief application to register for a year of strategic planning and support.

Who do I contact to learn more?

Please reach out to Andrea LaRocca:


ASU is proud to partner with three Colorado organizations — the Colorado Department of Education, the Public Education & Business Coalition and South Central BOCES — to help Colorado schools build team-based models that support equity and improve learning outcomes in Colorado.


As the state agency of education for Colorado, the Colorado Department of Education is responsible for implementing state and federal education laws, disbursing state and federal funds, holding schools and districts accountable for performance, licensing all educators, and providing public transparency of performance and financial data.


The Public Education & Business Coalition works directly with teachers, school leaders, and administrators throughout Colorado and nationwide to provide programming that cultivates highly effective Early Childhood Education (ECE) –12 educators to elevate student growth and achievement. Founded in 1983, PEBC’s mission is to develop educators worthy of each and every learner. Leveraging its three-pronged approach of the PEBC ECE–12 Teacher Residency; teacher, district and leadership professional development; and state-level policy work, PEBC is an ambitious human capital strategy to deepen the pipeline of teachers entering and remaining in urban and rural schools while improving outcomes for children.


The South Central Board of Cooperative Educational Services is an intermediate service agency providing cooperative services to member school districts. Located in the south-central region of Colorado, the SC BOCES serves as the administrative unit for special education and serves as a centralized support structure for all related academic and professional learning programming.

Professional learning for Opportunity Now participating schools

To prepare to launch at least one team in school year 2024–25, educators and leaders from participating Colorado schools will take part in the professional learning experiences detailed below, will attend a monthly planning meeting with other schools and the lead partners, will share school and teacher data, and will plan to launch an educator team.

Ready to apply?

Colorado school and system leaders are invited to submit a brief application to register for a year of strategic planning and support.