DPS Teachers Vote To Strike, Polis Wades Into The Fray

AP via Colorado Public Radio reports on a situation we’re monitoring closely in Denver, after teachers represented by the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) voted overwhelmingly to strike for better across-the-board pay and other unresolved disagreements with the school board.

Into this widening divide steps Colorado’s new Gov. Jared Polis, hoping to bridge the impasse before the potentially disruptive strike is set to begin next Monday:

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday he is seeking to prevent Denver teachers from walking off the job next week after they overwhelmingly voted to strike over pay.

Polis, who took office this month, said he would meet with representatives of the school district and teachers’ union to see if he could “play a role in bringing them together.” But the Democrat who has vowed to increase school funding declined to elaborate…

The earliest teachers could legally walk off the job is Monday. However, the state labor department could also intervene and put the strike on hold for up to 180 days. It would be the first teacher walkout in 25 years.

Can Gov. Polis bring the sides together in a fight dripping with subtext over major philosophical differences in public education? Will the state flex its controversial muscle and impose a cooling-off period? Whatever happens next, this is the first big labor fight of a new era of full Democratic control in Colorado. The outcome here is going to, as they say, set a tone.

We’ll update with developments, and we don’t expect to wait long. Stay tuned.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. deathpigeon | they/them says:

    Time to see who Polis will side with, the bosses or the workers.

  2. mamajama55 says:

    It's not just about the money. But money is the main issue.  DPS is not bargaining in good faith. You don't give experts in math instruction half-truths, include old money already in their checks, and artithmetic errors. Voters chose not to fund A73. Now its up to the district to re-allocate dollars to make things work. DPS needs to stop spending bajillions on testing and fancy silver-bullet curriculae, and concentrate on research based strategies to improve student outcomes: smaller class sizes, resources at the school level, being relevant to the community.

    Teaching is one of the only professions that actually costs the worker over time. Advanced education, professional development, classroom supplies – teachers pay for these themselves to be better teachers. DPS is not proposing to make this burden any lighter.

    I personally have some faith in Polis, having seen how his "private / public partnerships" actually created the New America schools that educate and graduate kids who would otherwise drop out. But that was not an instant solution. I think it's too early in this governor's term to pull a rabbit out of a hat to solve this impasse.


    • Meiner49er says:

      Thanks for those educational citations, Mama. We all need to educate ourselves on the details rather than take up partisan positions that the Governor is for or against teachers. 

      Polis has a lot at stake wading in given attacks on him during the primary, and I hope for everyone's sake that he can make educated and valuable contributions toward restoring the dialogue.

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