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Colorado Commissioner of Education

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Colorado Commissioner of Education
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Serves as the pleasure of the Board of Education
Authority:  Colorado Revised Statutes, Section 22-2-110
Selection Method:  Appointed by the Colorado Board of Education
Current Officeholder

Robert Hammond.jpg
Name:  Robert Hammond
Assumed office:  June 1, 2011
Compensation:  $225,000
Other Colorado Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerControllerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources Exec. DirectorLabor Executive DirectorPublic Utilities Commission
The Colorado Commissioner of Education is a state executive position in the Colorado state government. The commissioner is the "chief state school officer and executive officer of the department of education," in Colorado.[1] He is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Colorado Board of Education.

Current officeholder

The current commissioner is Robert Hammond, who assumed office on June 1, 2011. As the commissioner serves at the pleasure of the Board of Education, Hammond is not subject to periodic reappointment.

Before becoming commissioner, Hammond was deputy commissioner of administration and operations from 2008 to 2011. He was chief operations officer for the Boulder Valley School District from 2001 to 2008 and, prior to moving to Colorado, was an associate superintendent for the Wichita Public Schools in Wichita, KS. Before working in education, Hammond was senior vice president of operations for Farm Credit Services in Wichita and held several city management positions in Norman, OK, Oskaloosa, IA and Parsons, KS. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from Baker University and an M.P.A. in Urban Management from the University of Kansas.[2]


The office of superintendent is established by Colorado law as executive officer of the state department of education.[3]

Colorado Revised Statutes, Section 22-2-110

(1) The commissioner of education shall be the chief state school officer and executive officer of the department of education.


By law, superintendents must have "demonstrated personal and professional leadership, preferably in the administration of public education," and must possess an "earned advanced degree,preferably in education."[3]

Colorado Revised Statutes, Section 22-2-110

(4) The person appointed to the office of commissioner of education by the state board pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall, at a minimum, satisfy the following professional qualifications.
(a) The person shall have demonstrated personal and professional leadership success, preferably in the administration of public education; and
(b) The person shall possess an earned advanced degree, preferably in education or educational administration awarded from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university.


Commissioners of education are appointed by the Colorado Board of Education and serve at its pleasure.[3]

Colorado Revised Statutes, Section 22-2-110

(2) The commissioner shall be appointed by the state board, serve at the pleasure of the board, and receive such compensation as may be determined by the board.

Term limits

The commissioner does not face any term limits.


There is no particular procedure for dealing with vacancies in the office of superintendent.


The superintendent oversees the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the administrative arm of the Colorado State Board of Education, which makes policy for the state's public schools. The CDE's official website lists its main responsibilities as follows:

  • Supervising many aspects of school administration, including teacher licensing, school transportation, school nutrition, special education, and early childhood education;
  • Administering--and distributing funds for--a number of federal and state educational programs, centering on issues such as student literacy, technology, school reform and the prevention of at- risk behavior, to name a few;
  • Administering the state's library system, as well as all adult education efforts that don't fall under the supervision of Colorado's higher education system. The commissioner of education is the ex officio state librarian.
  • Providing consultation services on education issues to administrators and educators throughout the state;
  • Overseeing school finance and audits the distribution of education funds;
  • Developing new educational policies;
  • Acting as a link between school districts and state and federal legislators;
  • Accumulating, evaluating, and making public Colorado education data and information.

Colorado delegates a number of school administration tasks to local districts -- establishing curricula, calendars, graduation requirements, classroom policy and making personnel decisions -- that might be made at the state level elsewhere.[4]

Click here to view a larger-scale image of the Colorado Department of Education Organizational Chart as of March 15, 2013.


  • Accounting and Purchasing
  • Adult Education and Family Literacy
  • Audit
  • Budget
  • Capital Construction
  • Charter School Institute
  • Colorado Legacy Foundation
  • Colorado Preschool Program
  • Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind
  • Colorado State Library
  • Communications
  • Competitive Grants and Awards
  • Data and Research
  • Dropout Prevention and Student Engagement
  • Early Childhood Initiatives
  • Educator Effectiveness
  • Educator Licensing
  • Educational Technology and Innovation
  • Exceptional Student Leadership
  • Facility Schools
  • Federal Program Administration
  • GED
  • Gifted Education
  • Grants Fiscal Management
  • Health and Wellness
  • Human Resources
  • Information Management Services
  • Language, Culture and Equity
  • Legislation and Policy
  • Literacy Grants and Initiatives
  • Nutrition
  • Online Learning Support
  • Performance and Policy
  • Professional Services and Licensing
  • Record Integration Tracking System
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Response to Intervention
  • School Finance
  • School Improvement and Turnaround
  • School Transportation
  • Schools of Choice
  • Secondary Services and Initiatives
  • Special Education Dispute Resolution
  • Standards and Assessments
  • Student Assessment
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Transportation
  • Turnaround and Intervention


In 2011, the commissioner of education received a salary of $223,860.[5] The commissioner's compensation is determined by the state board of education.

Contact info

Physical address:
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 866-6600
Fax: (303) 830-0793

See also

External links