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Decline to Sign: Take action to protect Colorado values by not signing any petition for the rest of this year

Decline to Sign: Take action to protect Colorado values by not signing any petition for the rest of this year

Decline to sign Right now, billionaires and corporations are collecting signatures in your neighborhood, trying to put measures on the 2024 ballot that will defund public education, transportation, and public safety; harm our democracy by undermining how we vote, and bring partisan politics into our schools, increasing the surveillance of students and teachers. These campaigns pose serious threats to public services and our communities. We urge you to take action to protect Colorado values by not signing any petition for the rest of this year. Let’s stand together to protect our communities from these attacks by withholding our signatures!

 

Below, you’ll find information on these initiatives and why it’s crucial for us to stand together and DECLINE TO SIGN. Each of these initiatives are linked to our ensorsements page with more detail.

 

Initiative 108 – Property Tax Rate Decrease Initiative 108 would cut residential and non-residential property assessment rates, causing a $3 billion drop in local property tax revenue in the first year, straining the state budget and risking K-12 funding.

 

 

 

 

 

Initiative 138 – School Choice Amendment

Initiative 138 would add school choice and parental rights to direct education to the state constitution, which is unnecessary since school choice already exists, and it could pave the way for vouchers diverting funds from public schools.

 

 

 

 

Initiative 142 – Parental Notification of Gender Incongruence

Initiative 142 would require educators to notify parents if a child experiences gender incongruence, forcing teachers to police students, violating student privacy, and setting a harmful precedent.

Initiative 160 – Public Athletics Programs for Minors

Initiative 160 would restrict high school athletics participation based on sex assigned at birth, discriminating against transgender students and denying them the benefits of school athletics.

 

 

How Can You Help?

– Educate Yourself and Others: Understand the implications of these petitions and share this knowledge with your colleagues, friends, and family.

– Be Vigilant: If you see a petition that could harm our education system, politely decline to sign and explain why to others.

– Spread the Word: Use social media, community meetings, and other platforms to amplify the message of “Decline to Sign.” Update your profile picture today!

 

 

COpilot Monthly Learning Guide – June 2024

COpilot Monthly Learning Guide – June 2024

The summer term for COpilot has always been the busiest time for enrollments as educators use the summer as the perfect time to take lots of classes to fulfill licensing requirements and earn graduate credits for salary advancement. In fact, the amount of enrollments we see in the summer is typically double what we see in the fall semester. Thankfully, this summer, we’re offering 35 brand new courses and over 200 class sections so that Colorado educators have tons of choice when it comes to the professional learning they want to pursue. So far this summer, nearly 800 educators have already enrolled in a COpilot class and overall, there have been over 2,300 enrollments. In other words, if you’re a Colorado educator who hasn’t yet signed up for a COpilot class, now is the best time to do it!

Class Spotlights

This June, CEA COpilot is offering over a 100 different class sections, and nearly half of those start on June 3. Here are a few of the new courses from some amazing educators who work with kids every day:

Featured Facilitator

 Brittany OsbornEvery month, CEA wants to recognize one of the many union members who facilitate COpilot classes. This month, that member is Brittany Osborn, an online public school teacher and member of the Poudre Education Association.

How long have you been facilitating COpilot classes and what made you want to do it?

I have been a COpilot facilitator since 2019 and what drew me to it was the applicable learning opportunities from other teachers just like me! We share similar passions, highs and lows and I always felt heard as a participant. I had the opportunity to start sharing skills, philosophies and resources that really supported me as an educator and what I felt every teacher should have the access to! 

 

Why are you OR why did you become an educator?

I always grew up claiming “I wanted to be a teacher” as I naturally felt drawn to kids, helping others learn and bringing joy and encouragement to those who needed a little push! I’m a firm believer in “all can do”! My sister and I always loved playing school as kids, creating grade books, lessons, and implementing them pretending to be each other’s students, and here we both are, teachers in PSD and COpilot facilitators! I have really found my place in middle school and love learning with and from kids these ages!

When you’re not working with kids or facilitating COpilot classes, what is your favorite thing to do?

I love spending my time with my family, traveling, singing the alphabet forwards, and backwards, with my 3 year old, Noah, and exploring with my 1 year old, Micah! My husband, Troy, and I both have a secret passion for social media and writing recipes for a local restaurant in NOCO, Jim’s Wings, and we’re equally as passionate about the Iowa Hawkeyes! Definitely no dull moments around our house, especially because we’re just coming up on our one-year anniversary of moving in, and I’m extremely thankful to be part of the CEA COpilot community!

Access to hundreds of professional development courses just one click away at ceacopilot.org

Workers Rally to Challenge Gov. Polis to Protect Their Rights

Workers Rally to Challenge Gov. Polis to Protect Their Rights

Workers, community and labor advocates, and legislators rallied at the State Capitol this afternoon to commend the legislature for standing with workers by passing legislation to ensure workplace protections and quality jobs and to express disappointment with the Governor’s failure to sign them.

man standing at rally with shirt that says Polis Failed Workers

Last Friday evening, Governor Polis vetoed three bills that would have helped working Coloradans. Rally attendees will call on the Governor to take steps to stand with workers going forward -including engaging with workers this summer and fall to learn of the challenges they face- and to commit his final two years in office to signing policies that support worker rights and well-paying jobs.

HB24-1008 The bill would have protected workers in the construction industry who are victims of wage theft by requiring general contractors to ensure all workers are paid on the projects they build and that their subcontractors take responsibility for paying workers.

“Wage theft happens every single day at job sites across Colorado,” said Jonathan Morales, an impacted worker. “I’ve been a victim of wage theft and I know many, many others who have been. Governor Polis failed us with his vetoes. But there is a way to make it right and we hope he’ll finally meet with us and work with us in a meaningful way so all Colorado workers have the protections they deserve.”

Senator Jessia Danielson speaking at Stand with Workers Rally“The legislature passed HB1008 with strong majorities because it recognized that victims of wage theft need more protections and better ways to get the wages they earned,” said Jordan Jones, a Representative for the Western States Regional Council of Carpenters. “A lot of those workers are paycheck-to-paycheck and they needed the Governor to support them. He failed and now he owes it to those workers to meet with them and adopt real fixes so folks aren’t missing rent and mortgage payments, aren’t forced to skip meals, and can take care of their families.”

HB24-1260 The bill would have prevented employers from retaliating against workers who choose to opt out of mandatory political or religious meetings in the workplace.

“These vetoes let down Colorado’s working families.” Said Sephanie Felix-Sowy, President of SEIU Local 105. “Workers across our state were counting on Governor Polis to sign these historic protections into law, including HB 1260 which would have protected workers from being forced to listen to religious, political or anti-union speech from their employer, and in failing to do so, he missed an opportunity to stand with workers. Moving forward, our members will continue to fight together every day to expand workers’ rights and protections, and to ensure that no worker in Colorado is left behind.”

Aurora Education Association member Bryan Lindstrom speaking at Stand with Workers Rally“I’m so disappointed in our Governor. Workers across Colorado put so much time into helping elect him because we believed he would be our champion.” said Bobby Schreiber, a life skills manager at Urban Peak and SEIU Local 105 member.  Seeing him veto historic protections like this is incredibly disappointing. Workers, especially those without a union, need to be protected from employer retaliation for simply not attending a meeting not related to their job, and he failed us.”

Colorado Education Association at Stand with Workers rally.

HB24-1307 The bill would have ensured high-road contractors are completing HVAC improvement projects in Colorado schools and ensuring those schools get the grants they need.

“Investing in school infrastructure is essential not only for the immediate well-being of our students and educators but also for the long-term success of our educational system,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and President of the Colorado Education Association. “This decision represents a missed opportunity to make a significant positive impact on the quality of education in Colorado, and it sends a troubling message about the prioritization of our state’s resources and the importance placed on the educational environment.”

Paving the Way for our Fully Funded Era in Colorado’s Schools

Paving the Way for our Fully Funded Era in Colorado’s Schools

We are thrilled to announce the signing of SB24-188 Public School Finance and HB24-1448 New Public School Finance Formula! This marks a historic event with the complete buy down of the Budget Stabilization (B.S.) Factor to ZERO — our first step toward our #FullyFundEd Era!

Governor Jared Polis signing the school finance act.

The Significance of SB24-188 and HB24-1448
SB24-188 Public School Finance and HB24-1448 New Public School Finance Formula are monumental in shaping the future of Colorado’s education system. The buy down of the B.S. Factor to zero signifies a pivotal moment in our journey toward fully funded public education. This legislative achievement lays the groundwork for a more equitable and adequately funded education system, ensuring that all students across Colorado receive the resources they need to succeed.

CEA President Amie Baca-Oehlert being recognized by the Colorado House of Representatives.

Honoring CEA President Amie Baca-Oehlert
In addition to this legislative triumph, we are incredibly proud to share that CEA President Amie Baca-Oehlert received special recognition from the Colorado House of Representatives. Amie has dedicated 27 years to education, starting as an English teacher at Adams City High School. Her journey in education has seen her take on various leadership roles, including serving as a school counselor, a member of the District 12 bargaining team, and eventually as President of the Colorado Education Association.Amie’s tenure as CEA President has been marked by her unwavering dedication and resilience, particularly during the unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic. She successfully led Colorado’s educators through this difficult period, negotiating a return to in-person learning and securing PPE and vaccines for educators. Her leadership has left a lasting impact on Colorado’s educators, students, and public education in Colorado.

Bill signing at Elementary School. As we celebrate these monumental achievements, we also look forward to the future with hope and determination. The passing of SB24-188 and HB24-1448 is just the beginning of our journey toward fully funding public education. Through the collective efforts of our dedicated members, we are confident in our ability to shape a bright future for all students in Colorado.

Join us in celebrating this historic moment and recognizing the exceptional dedication and leadership of Amie Baca-Oehlert.

CEA Digital Week of Action

CEA Digital Week of Action

Digital Week of Action

CEA’s Digital Week of Action: Leading up to Delegate Assembly

Welcome to CEA’s Digital Week of Action! Whether you’re attending the Delegate Assembly or not, we’re excited to engage with you in a series of activities leading up to the event. Follow these instructions to participate and make your voice heard.

Monday: Download the myCEA App

Start off the week by downloading the myCEA app. This app will be your hub for staying updated on all things related to CEA, including events, news, and resources. You can download it from your app store (available for both iOS and Android). Go to: coloradoea.org/myCEA

Tuesday: Share Your “Why”

Today, we want to hear from you! Share your “Why” – why you became involved in education, why you’re passionate about what you do, or why you are a proud union member. Record your video on our story collection app StoryVine and using the hashtag #WeAreCEA and tagging @ColoradoEA Let’s inspire each other with our stories.

Share your story, follow these simple steps:

  • Head to coloradoea.org/EmpoweringEducators to be directed to our Story Vine sign-up form.
  • Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll receive an email with a link to download the app.
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions provided in the app to record your story in minutes with ease.

Wednesday: Advocating for Fully Funded Education, Safety, and Respect

Take a moment to reflect and share your insights! We’re using Mentimeter to gather your thoughts on what fully funded education, safety, and respect mean to you. Head over to the link provided and answer the following questions:

1️⃣ What resources would make the biggest impact for your students?
2️⃣ What would make you feel respected as an educator?
3️⃣ What would make you feel safe in your school environment?

Advocate for what we need with us by going to coloea.org/voice 

Thursday: Email Your Legislator

Today, let’s focus our advocacy efforts on a crucial issue: school safety. We urge you to email your legislator and advocate for prioritizing funding the School Safety Task Force. Together, let’s ensure our schools have the resources they need to create safe and secure environments for students and educators alike. Personalize your message and share your experiences to make a meaningful impact.

Click here to take 5 minutes and use our email template to reach your Representative today.

Friday: Snap a Picture with our Photobooth (In person/Virtual)

Wrap up the week by joining our photobooth activity, either in person or virtually. Show Union Pride by snapping a photo with our props or using our custom digital filters. Share your photos on social media using #WeAreCEA and tagging @ColoradoEA.

***Check back on Friday for information on how to participate in the photobooth***

Thank you for participating in CEA’s Digital Week of Action! Your engagement and advocacy make a difference in our collective efforts to improve education in Colorado.