Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Colorado School District’s Dubious Union Agreement Under Scrutiny

Until a little over a year ago, public sector unions across the United States frequently employed the practice of collecting “fair share provisions” or “agency fees” from employees who had opted out of full union membership.  These payments amounted to a prearranged sum of money designed to correspond solely to the costs of the union’s non-political activity (i.e. contract bargaining and administration or grievance resolution). The practice was struck down as unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in its Janus v. AFSCME ruling in June of 2018, but as The Complete Colorado’s Scott Weiser reported on September 8, one Colorado school district seems to be running afoul of the decision. Alamosa’s School District RE-11J was, until a year ago, one of a handful of Colorado school districts that collected agency fees, and although it and all other such districts did revise its contract in response to Janus, Alamosa’s new collective bargaining agreement adopted this summer appears to contain provisions that make it questionable at best. In perhaps its most egregious provision, the agreement currently in force in Alamosa seems to assume that all employees who are members of the union’s bargaining unit (i.e. all teachers in the district) are members […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Blaine Case

The United States Supreme Court will hear Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a case that stands to further clarify the constitutionality of state Blaine clauses.

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Teachers Generally Unaware of Landmark Court Ruling, Per New Study

Among the study’s most crucial findings is that only one in four teachers surveyed had even heard of the Janus v. AFSCME decision at all.

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Jeffco Ignores Concerned Parents about Controversial Curriculum

According to our own Pam Benigno, an elementary school in Jefferson County has been quietly working to install a controversial curriculum while it and the district continue to provide parents with misleading information concerning opt-out opportunities.

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Union Files Lawsuit Against Community Decision

On Friday, May 10, the Pueblo Education Association, the local affiliate of the Colorado Education Association for Pueblo School District No. 60, moved to legally challenge an April Colorado State Board of Education decision to allow an outside management company to run the struggling Risley International Academy of Innovation. State Board Chair Angelika Schroeder criticized the union’s actions on Tuesday, calling them disappointing and maintaining that it is in effect shifting attention away from where the focus ought to be: on improving student outcomes.

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Homeschool Day at the Capitol

Yesterday, the Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC) held its annual Homeschool Day at the Capitol. Several hundred parents and students were in attendance for this event, which began with a visit of the Capitol and culminated with a rally on the west steps. Colorado’s unpredictable April weather happened to cooperate, as the bright blue skies and trees in full bloom made for a perfect setting for all the day’s activities, which included a costumed fife and drum corps parade around the perimeter of the State Capitol Building.

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SB 191 Under Attack?

It ought to go without saying that an effective public education system should seek to identify classroom instructors who are successful and those who are not in order to reward and incentivize the former and to correct the latter. This was ostensibly the aim of the 2010 Senate Bill 191, the provisions of which continue to find themselves under near-constant attack nearly a decade after Gov. Ritter signed it into law.

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A+ Colorado Releases New Brief about DPS Unified Enrollment

Colorado has been a national leader in terms of accessible school choice. The brief by A+ Colorado, School Choice with Unified Enrollment, examines both the opportunities and challenges school choice has offered families in Denver. The district moved to a unified choice enrollment platform in 2012.

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How Federal Programs Support Private K-12 Students and Teachers

Federal law requires that private K-12 schools have access to federally funded “equitable services” through their local school districts. Our most recent paper outlines the various services and funding available to private schools and provides real Colorado examples of how private schools participate in federal programs.

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It’s National School Choice Week!!!

Today I joined fellow students at the Colorado State Capitol Building to watch the legislative process! It was really cool because I heard a legislator talk about National School Choice Week! I even met a real live legislator named Senator John Cooke from Weld County. He is really tall! Before he was a state senator he was the Weld County Sheriff. My friend, and intern at the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center, Grace Atchison-Reynolds, wrote a spectacular op-ed about her own school choice story. Also, in celebration of National School Choice Week, Grace starred in a video! Once again the National Alliance for Charter Public Schools ranked Colorado 2nd for the best charter school laws. I was hoping we would take first this year but maybe we will next year! It is the time of year when many students open enroll into a public school other than their neighborhood school. You can learn more by going to SchoolChoiceforKids.org Enjoy celebrating school choice! You have three more days to celebrate!

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