BREAKING: Polis Will Not Intervene, DPS Strikes Next Week

UPDATE: The Denver Post’s Elizabeth Hernandez:

Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday declined to intervene in the impending Denver teacher strike, which could have delayed a teacher walkout by up to 180 days…

At the heart of the disagreement is Denver’s teacher compensation plan ProComp. Both sides have proposals they claim improve the pay scale that determines how and what teachers get paid. DCTA’s proposal kicks in about $28.5 million toward teacher compensation, while the district’s is about $20.8 million.

In addition to the $8 million difference in teachers pay plans, the district and union disagree on how educators should advance along their proposed compensation schedules. The union’s plan allows for more opportunities for teachers to bump up in pay as they accrue credits toward advancing their education.


That’s the breaking word from the first floor of the state capitol, Gov. Jared Polis will NOT order a 180-day cooling-off period via the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, returning power to the Denver Classroom Teachers Association to commence a strike if a deal isn’t reached by Monday, February 11th.

We’ll update with coverage and statements, but this is a big win for teachers that will shore up Polis’ left flank on the hot-button issue of public education–and puts teeth in Polis’ campaign pledge to help organized workers flex their muscles.

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Pseudonymous says:

    Super surprised.  Well done, Governor.

  2. Democrat1207 says:

    Fully Expected this, would have been shocked if he did intervene. 

  3. deathpigeon | they/them says:

    This sets a good tone to his governorship where intervening would've set an opposed tone. I'm not his biggest fan, but good on him.

  4. JohnInDenver says:

    Anyone have a reference to what the District would like like under the teacher's plan? If $8 million more goes to teachers, what functions or personnel get cut?

    • Smoking Mirror says:

      Testing. Sooo much expensive testing…

      • mamajama55 says:

        If only…..For the record, I'm not opposed to standardized testing, comparing each school to a national "norm". That's useful info. We do want to push our students to achieve  levels likely to help them to succeed in college and in life.

        It's when testing is used to punish or break up schools, hire, fire, reward or punish teachers and administrators that I really have a problem with it. Because, as I've written before, whether or not your students do well on the standardized tests in any given year is a crapshoot, of factors you do not really have control over. (income, prior education, mobility, abilities and disabilities, how well the school does discipline, etc).

        To the extent teachers have control over what goes on in their classrooms, they should be held accountable. But honestly? I'd say that's less than 60% of the factors going into test scores.

        That doesn't stop districts from buying and selling the new "researched"* silver bullet curriculum / gadget / test format "guaranteed" to raise scores.

        *Usually they want the teachers and students to be the guinea pigs in exchange for a "free program", which will jack up the price 3X next year. It's a racket.


    • MADCO says:

      Well good news teachers get better total compensation
      Bad news- it's end times for sure

    • mamajama55 says:

      The last district proposal I saw would have cut  the jobs of 100 office personnel.

  5. Smoking Mirror says:

    My children, and those among some of our friends, will be joining the strike. I believe walking a picket line will certainly be an educational experience for them. I wonder how many no show students DPS won't be seeing during this exercise?

  6. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Wonder if these want-to-strike teachers ever stop to think about who has to pay up to meet their demands? Hint: it isn't the school board, and not exclusively parents either.

    Got my JeffCo property tax bill in late January. Even with a senior exemption, the bill is up 18% compared to last year. Almost all of that is due to the school district mill levy.

    Income for the year is probably level. So, what do I cut out to pay for the demands of Jeffco teachers and their allies? Don't smoke and seldom imbibe alcohol. Guess I'll have to give up something else that I like. Already have non-renewed some memberships & subscriptions. And will likely have to cut back on charitable giving since that isn’t an essential.

    • itlduso says:

      The Trump/GOP tax cut didn’t cover the property tax increase? Really?!?  It’s costing the country 2 trillion dollars. Maybe you should have supported Dems who would  have skewed tax cuts to lower income folks like yourself.  Just sayin.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        And the Trump tax cut for corporations and billionaires is also costing middle class retirees like me due to loss of deductions and exemptions. As for your suggestion to vote Dem; or, as you say; "just sayin;" how does voting Dem in Colorado offset those poor souls in WI, MI, PA who drank the Kool-Aid and voted for Trump, thus giving him the presidency?

        Last time I checked, there are 50 states, plus D.C., that vote for president, not just Colorado. Just sayin'.

  7. Duke Cox says:

    Awww. frownLook at the bright side, CHB. At least you don't have to give up your place in line at the food bank.

    Join the club making sacrifices, CHB. You know don't you that so many teachers have to use their own money to supply their kids that Congress made a tax exemption for it. But the T***pian Republican congress repealed that. You knew that…right?

    If a subsequent congress reinstated it, I am unaware, but uncertain, of that. 

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Hard to sob for teachers, Duke, with their 12 months worth of pay for 9 months of work. There was an "expose" in the Denver news last summer with a Jeffco high school principal complaining about part of the building being unusable due to maintenance issues. Makes one wonder what JeffCo does with their money. 

      • Duke Cox says:

        No…CHB. It is not hard for me to "sob" for teachers. I WAS a school teacher in Dist. RE-1J in Montrose in the mid seventies. The notion that teachers lay around all summer eating bon bons and enjoying their vast wealth is absurd. Many have to take seasonal jobs to pay their bills. 

        I don't have the time to fully excoriate you for your incredible selfishness and myopia.

        There are other teachers on this site. I trust you will be hearing from them..

      • Curmudgeon says:

        Lots of School Districts are top-heavy, and spend their money on grossly overpaid leadership and endless studies from outside companies; students and teachers are the lowest priority.

        As for CHB's lack of concern for anyone but himself; why is that a surprise? 

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          It's not a "surprise" for Curmudgeon since, for him, anyone to the right of Zappatero is probably a fascist. A gentle reminder for you. I spent 25 years in social services in two states; 17 here in Colorado and most of the time on active case loads. Of course, this is the internet and you can choose to believe whatever you want.

          And as evidenced during the Great Recession and its aftermath, teachers and students weren’t at the bottom of the list of concern for the JeffCo school district. Taxpayers without kids in school held that distinction.

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            Well, hell, I was always concerned about my obviously fascist leanings . . . 

            . . . still, I think it’s a silly fallacy that there are any “taxpayers without kids”?  

            Even though my direct progeny are all, now, out of college (at least for awhile), the notion that I, or anyone else here, don’t have a personal and important stake in the education of this State’s other children is laughable.

            • Conserv. Head Banger says:

              What about people, like me, who have never had "direct progeny,” that we know of? Of my 9-10 closest friends, only half have had kids. And we're all a "fallacy?" 

              A stake, yes. Taxation without representation, no.

              • Diogenesdemar says:

                Before you go all, “give-me-liberty,-or-give-me- death” on me, let me just say that I felt no more, and also no less, “represented” when my children were school age, or now that they’re out of school, or also even before they were born . . . 

                . . . the only taxpayers that don’t have children must live in countries without children. And, maybe coincidentally, no future?

                Yeah, it sucks that it costs so much to educate kids, (and, yeah, it also sucks that you’re not allowed a vote in Colorado until your sperm meet an egg, but that’s the law wink), but I think it would suck even more, and be far, far more expensive, not to provide them with a good education. 

              • Voyageur says:

                Taxation without representation?  Hardly.  You can vote for school board and on school finance issues.   As a proud grandfather, I will watch my granddaughter graduate from East High in May.  DPS isn't perfect but teachers work hard and, for the most part, really care about the kids.

          • Curmudgeon says:

            I don't bother questioning anyone else's "credentials" online, it's pointless.  This is the internet, and you can choose to claim whatever you want. 

            So, lemme get this straight…you'd like to be exempt from paying your fair share for things that you feel don't benefit you directly? 

            I thought old-school conservatives liked the idea of educated people?  

            • Conserv. Head Banger says:

              Yes, VG, I do vote.

              Dio: maybe you need to do some better research. As I’ve already said, half of my close friends have never had kids. Anecdotal evidence from them and other research shows there are a lot of us out there. And, like it or not, the taxes from those without kids go to educate YOUR kids.

              • Curmudgeon says:

                You keep saying that like it matters.  Taxes serve your interests as well, can other people just opt out of paying for anything that benefits bitter old folks without kids?   

              • mamajama55 says:

                So you're a proud user of national and state parks; while I rarely get there. Why should my taxes pay for your parks use?

                You collect social security and a pension. I paid into social security for 50 years, and haven't gotten a dime of it back yet (although I hope to retrieve some of of it after the gov gets done stealing half of it through the windfall elimination provision)

                So why should any of these young people that you so despise, or the working stiffs you have such contempt for, subsidize you in your old age?

                For that matter, why should we pay for roads or public hospitals if we don't use them?  Why am I paying for roads where you live? When I buy something in your county, why should my sales taxes pay for your police or fire protection? Above all, why should I pay for the N fricking FL's gigantic socialist monuments to brain damage?

                The answer is that we live in a society which has Constitutionally declared that there are some common goods that every citizen should help pay for.  It's in the preamble:

                We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

                So if you want to have the kid that sells you your latte make correct change, and you want drivers on the roads to be able to read, and you want voters to have developed at least some critical thinking skills, you'll quit your bitching and pay your share of public education. You benefit from it, like everyone else.


              • Diogenesdemar says:

                If you and your however many childless friends all can’t figure out that there’s important personal benefit to them to educating all children, or think that parents who do have children in school aren’t personally paying huge expenses out-of-pocket above and beyond, or believe that there’s a dark conspiracy among the illuminatti who really control the PTA and you’re unfairly shut out by that exclusive cabal from having any constitutional say into the budget decisions as to when to hold bake sales, or sell christmas wreaths, or coupon books, or, or, or . . . 

                . . . well, then, maybe it’s not such a terrible thing for the country that ya’ll didn’t have offspring??!


                (PS.  I hope you know without me saying, that I don’t really mean that, but fuxsakes, really . . . ??)

                • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                  Dio: maybe you go back and re-read what I actually said instead of making assumptions. Like I said, my taxes paid for YOUR kids' education, along with money from many other people.

                  Are you on some sort of crusade against people who have chosen; some for environmental reasons; not to have kids?

                  • Diogenesdemar says:

                    CHB, EVERBODY’S taxes go towards paying for EVERBODY’S children — as they should in a society that values and wants an educated citizenry, above just education for a privileged few.

                    Maybe YOU go back and re-read what YOU wrote.  You’re the one who raised the issue of not having children being a unfairness (even worse, “taxation without representation”) vis-a-vis paying taxes for schools.


                  • Diogenesdemar says:

                    And, it’s not that I or my daughters are ungrateful to you for your portion of their education; I’ll go out on a limb here and thank you for them, and me as well.

                    Thank you, CHB — I know it wasn’t your choice, or even your preference, but thank you anyway, just the same.

                    I do think you’ll be especially pleased to hear the that all three of us are all gainfully employed and now paying our taxes for your roads, police, and other services etc., as well as your Social Security and (soon?) Medicare.  (It’s just good karma, I spose’.)

                    . . . You’re welcome!

      • Unitary Moonbat says:

        Teachers are paid for 9 months' worth of work, but that pay is distributed over a 12-month period; it's to keep districts from having to fire and re-hire everybody every summer (and pay the unemployment claims that would come with it). And it ain't like teachers are making a ton of money, anyway: if we figure a school year of 180 8-hour days, $50,000 per year equates to a little under $35/hour. I truly hope you're not in a place where that sounds extravagant, but if you are, I'll meet you at the barricades when you finally realize who is the real enemy in all of this.

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