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Education

  • Schools’ budget approved on split vote

    The Jeffco school district’s 2015-16 budget, which has proved to be the latest dividing line for the fractured school board, was approved last Thursday with the votes of the board’s three conservative members.

    The conservative majority was pleased that the financial plan avoided added expenses, but the board’s two liberal members say the budget shortchanges teachers on pay, and could have met pressing facilities needs responsibly through an alternative financing method.

  • Judge refuses to lift injunction on new-hire pay for teachers

    A Jeffco district judge last Thursday denied a school district request to lift an injunction that prevents the district from paying newly hired teachers at higher salary levels.

    Judge Christopher Zenisek upheld his May decision to freeze Jeffco Public Schools’ recently approved new-hire pay levels, saying the policy could widen the pay gap between existing and newly hired teachers, and lead district employees to believe that the teachers union’s input “is not significant” in compensation discussions.

  • School board adds $2.4 million to budget for teacher raises

    The Jeffco teachers union’s bargaining team on Monday “reluctantly accepted” the school district’s offer for teachers raises, although it fell several million dollars short of what the union requested last week.

  • School board candidate brings teacher’s perspective

    Jeffco parent Amanda Stevens, a former teacher and now a candidate for the school board, says she would bring a dedication to excellence, transparency and cooperation to the deeply divided board.

    The Lakewood resident announced last month that she is running for Lesley Dahlkemper’s soon-to-be-vacant seat in District 4, which includes areas in South Jeffco. Stevens is the lone candidate so far; the election is Nov. 3.

  • Auditor gives Jeffco school district favorable report card

    Jeffco Public Schools met all five financial benchmarks examined in an analysis by the state auditor, according to a report released June 2.

    The Fiscal Health Analysis of Colorado School Districts looked at districts’ ratio of assets to liabilities; levels of debt service; ratio of general funds to general fund expenditures; general fund operating margin; and general fund operating margin over time. Some 40 percent of the state’s school districts fell short in at least one category.

  • Teacher pay concerns take center stage during district budget talks

    Concerns about teacher pay dominated the first public hearing May 25 for the Jeffco school district’s 2015-16 budget, and school board members disagreed about how to allocate some funds.

    The $1.1 billion budget, which has been discussed for months and is about 2.5 percent larger than last year’s, will likely be finalized at the end of June.

    The board’s two liberal members said the $12.1 million earmarked for pay increases was inadequate. That amount includes:

    • A 1 percent raise for qualifying teachers totaling $5.2 million.

  • Hundreds rally in support of Jeffco teachers

    Speakers at a rally Friday organized by the teachers union raised the specter of a strike as contract negotiations continue between the Jeffco Education Association and the school district.

    Attendees at the “Rally to Take Back Our Schools” filled the hillside around the amphitheater at Clement Park in South Jeffco, and JCEA spokespeople estimated that between 1,000 and 2,500 people attended. A cloudburst dampened the event, but most stuck it out, huddling under umbrellas and intermittently chanting such slogans as “Stand up for kids!”

  • Spokeswoman for Jeffco Schools resigns

    Jeffco Public Schools chief communications officer Lisa Pinto has submitted a letter of resignation and will be stepping down from her position effective June 19, according to the district’s superintendent.

    Pinto wrote in her May 28 resignation that she is leaving the district for another job.

  • Negotiations hit snag on teacher pay

    The Jeffco teachers union and the school district hit a rough patch in contract negotiations last Thursday when the sides failed to agree on a plan for how much the district should pay teachers hired for the fall, according to a pool report.

    Negotiators for the Jefferson County Education Association and Jeffco Public Schools met for an extra session to discuss the topic after a district judge issued an injunction against the school district a week earlier that prevented it from moving forward with recently approved entry-level salaries.

  • Jeffco teachers receive flier discussing possible strike

    An information sheet sent to members of the Jeffco teachers union discusses the possibility of a strike, but a union spokesman said efforts are still focused on collaborating with the school district.

    The flier, which was re-published May 20 on website CompleteColorado.com, answers frequently asked questions about strikes, urges teachers to attend an event Friday called “Rally to Take Back Our Schools,” and states that the Jefferson County Education Association is still committed to bargaining with the district.