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Education Concerns

Local Control and the Role of CDE

Colorado is a "local control" state. This means that many pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade public education decisions - on issues such as curriculum, personnel, school calendars, graduation requirements, and classroom policy - are made by the school districts and their local school boards. 


As a learning organization, CDE actively partners with districts, schools, educators, families, and community agencies to assess needs, foster innovation, identify promising practices, learn from each other, and disseminate successful strategies to increase student achievement and ensure college and career readiness.


CDE and the state board of education are responsible for implementing state and federal education laws, disbursing state and federal funds, holding schools and districts accountable for academic performance, licensing all educators, and providing public transparency of performance and financial data. CDE does not have the authority to intervene in complaints that apply to local control issues.


Educational Concerns

Before bringing any question regarding school policy or a specific decision affecting a student to the attention of the Department, the issue should be pursued by contacting the responsible parties in this order:

  1. Teacher

  2. School Principal

  3. District Superintendent

  4. Local School Board Members



If a complaint has been escalated through the above chain of command and the response is not satisfactory, the following resources are available to consider: