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Education

  • School maintenance funding in limbo

    The fate of some voter-approved funds for facility maintenance in Jeffco Public Schools remains unclear after the school board voted 3-2 to table a discussion about their use on Jan. 15.

    The $17 million in question represents part of the proceeds from the bond issue approved by district voters in November 2012 for maintenance and renovation of schools. Even though the ballot specified $99 million in bonds, higher yields meant the bonds sold at a premium and generated additional funds.

  • Charter schools seeing enrollment growth

    Jeffco’s charter schools saw significantly greater enrollment growth than district-managed schools in the last year, and advocates say that greater availability of choice, high academic expectations and options for home-schoolers are responsible.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ACC lands federal grant for health information technology program

    Arapahoe Community College has been awarded a multimillion-dollar federal grant to expand the college’s health information technology program.

    The four-year, $2.39 million grant comes from the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. ACC was one of 71 schools across the country to receive funds from the program this year.

  • 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.

  • Columbine team has the biggest, best idea

    A big idea from a group of Columbine High School students has turned out to be a big winner.

    Columbine’s team placed first last weekend in the inaugural statewide Big Idea competition with its project Denver Push, which focused on accessibility for the disabled. Kale Reader, 17, Dan DeGraaf, 17, Ty Duffy, 18, and Megan Lacy, 17, each won a $1,500 college scholarship.

  • Teachers union, district debate pay model in court

    The Jeffco teachers union argued Friday in district court that the school district improperly enacted a performance-based pay model that created unfair pay disparities between new and experienced teachers.

    The district countered that the school board was well within its rights to make final decisions about pay, and that the same disparities existed under the former system.

    Attorneys for the Jefferson County Education Association and the school district argued their cases before District Judge Christopher Zenisek, who has not yet made a decision.

  • Jeffco schools could receive less money from state

    Proposed cuts by lawmakers in the K-12 portion of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s 2015-16 state budget could mean that Jeffco Public Schools receives $17.5 million less than anticipated.

    Hickenlooper’s funding plan would have provided the district $37 million in state funds; $17.2 million of that would have gone toward ongoing costs, while $19.8 million would have been earmarked for one-time expenditures.