Tag Archives: reforms

If a Teacher Strike Comes, Will Boulder Learn Denver's 1994 Lesson?

Back in the spring, I pointed you to some important discussion about the Boulder teacher “sickout”. A month ago I mentioned how the collective bargaining contract with the school district, and teachers voted to reject the latest offer. Well, earlier this week, the Boulder Valley Education Association filed official notice with the state that the union intends to strike. Sure, as my friend Ben DeGrow pointed out, that doesn’t necessarily mean a strike will happen soon or even happen at all. But another large Colorado local union went down a similar path 15 years ago during the state’s last teachers strike. So will the parties involved learn the lessons of the 1994 Denver walkout (PDF), or perhaps even take the opportunity to promote reforms in the way teachers are paid?

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Please Don't Let Unions Play Hide-and-Seek with Teachers' Money

Hide-and-seek can be a lot of fun, but not when someone else — especially some big group — is playing it with your money. That’s why my friends at the Independence Institute make such a big deal about government spending transparency. But what about transparency for teachers who belong to, or have to pay fees to, a union? Following the story of the Indiana state teachers union that lost millions of dollars of members’ money through gross mismanagement, James Sherk and Dan Lips from the Heritage Foundation wrote a great piece for yesterday’s National Review Online called “Shady Dealings”. They explain how teachers unions have fought having to shine light on their financial activities:

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Professional Pay and Behavior in Jefferson County Contract Impasse?

Update , 12:45 PM: It looks like Jeffco isn’t alone with the impasse problem. Some teachers in Boulder Valley School District have taken it even further, staging a sick-out at Broomfield High School (H/T Complete Colorado). And it’s not the first time. Five years ago — when I was just a wee baby — the Boulder Valley Education Association staged a major “sick-out”. Then, as now, the terms of their collective bargaining contract read: There will be no strikes or other individual or concerted action designed to deprive the youth in the schools of services of Unit B employees [ed note: teachers and other certified professional non-administrative employees]. Any employee who engages in such actions during the term of this Agreement shall be subject to severe disciplinary action. Such disciplinary action shall be subject to the Grievance Procedure contained in this Agreement, except where applicable the state statute will apply. Earlier this week I pointed you to a breaking story from my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow about teacher contract negotiations breaking down in Colorado’s largest school district. Well, the online journalists at Face The State picked up the ball with a full-length story today, including quotes from a […]

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Ben DeGrow Plugs Commonsense, Parent- & Taxpayer-Friendly Reform

Yesterday morning, my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow took to the airwaves for a quick interview on Colorado’s Morning News (850 KOA). He talked about the awful federal “stimulus” bill, the need for online financial transparency, and gave a shout-out to parent-friendly school choice reforms. I was too busy getting out of bed and getting ready for school to hear it for myself, so I was glad to get a copy we all can go back and listen to: Right on! Now is the time for commonsense reforms that empower parents and taxpayers, not federal boondoggles that subsidize more of the same.

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Michael Bennet Could Do More for Education Reform as DPS Superintendent

The Obama girls have their first day at their new Washington, DC, private school today. And I’m back from vacation, too. I’d be lying to say I’d rather be doing this than playing with Legos or Matchbox cars, but there figures to be a lot of important education policy to discuss in 2009. Today we start back by wondering what the fallout will be from the big appointment of Denver Public Schools superintendent Michael Bennet to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. From the standpoint of the Senate and federal education reform policy, there’s no doubt this selection represents a net improvement. The optimism of Democrats for Education Reform is justified. Where Bennet stands on many other important issues of the day, however, is not known. (For a wild and interesting piece of trivia, the last sitting U.S. Senator to have served as a school superintendent was none other than the well-aged and controversial late Strom Thurmond.)

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