Back in February we told readers about a bill working its way through the Colorado General Assembly that would make it easier for schools to secure instructors for Native American language classes. The bill was designed to address a problem confronting public schools wanting to offer Navajo, Ute, or other Native language classes: not many certified teachers speak these languages.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signing of the bill into law earlier this week means that those who are best qualified to teach heritage languages–including elders and leaders from Native communities–can now be hired even if they lack a state teaching certificate. The law stipulates that for classes taught by an uncertified teacher, a certified teacher must also be present.
Kudos to Colorado for working to facilitate heritage language instruction in public classrooms!