Superintendent and Board Members Share Perspectives on Negotiations and School Funding
At the January 24, 2019 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Susana Cordova provided an update on the status of negotiations between the district and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA). Cordova noted that on Wednesday January 23, DPS filed a request with the State Department of Labor to intervene and help reach a resolution. While the Department of Labor considers DPS’ request, work conditions are to remain as they are right now. The Department of Labor has up to 14 days to make its decision, but has urged DPS to continue negotiating.
Cordova shared that DPS and DCTA would like to continue negotiations and will be discussing next steps soon. For the most up-to-date information on the negotiations process and the district’s most recent proposal, please visit teacherstrike.dpsk12.org.
Prior to Public Comment, each board member took the opportunity to voice her perspective on the negotiations and related subjects. The full video of tonight’s meeting, including extensive public comment from members of the DCTA, is available here.
Recognizing School Funding Challenges in Colorado
Noting that when DPS and the DCTA resolve the Pro-Comp negotiations in Denver, many teachers across the state will still be unable to live in the communities that they serve, Lisa Flores spoke about Colorado’s new education paradox — that one of the wealthiest states in the nation has one of the most poorly-funded school systems.
“Colorado is not funding its schools sufficiently to pay our teachers a wage that keeps up with the cost of living. Not anymore. Not in Denver, and not elsewhere in the state of Colorado. While the DCTA has directed much of its outrage at DPS, I believe that the more earnest question right now is when will Colorado start adequately funding education?” said Flores.
Recognizing the Need for Social Change
Jennifer Bacon spoke about seizing the opportunity to reset how our entire community values, rebuilds and promotes teaching as an honored profession. “In addition to a livable and predictable wage, I think what’s really important is going back to the table and rethinking what it is that we’re prioritizing as a district in support of teachers,” she observed.
Bacon called on the DPS community to dig into the hope of what is possible. “I hope that we can all at least say, I was glad to be a part of this moment where we shifted perspective together. And that with hope, pride, excitement, what we came up with makes me feel better as a human, a community member and a citizen.”