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Colorado Education Association Celebrates Election 2023 Outcomes: A Victory for Educators, Students, and the Community

Colorado Education Association Celebrates Election 2023 Outcomes: A Victory for Educators, Students, and the Community

CEA logo

CONTACT
Sydney Slifka
Director of Digital Communications
Colorado Education Association
sslifka@coloradoea.org
Cell: (720) 512-7790

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2023

Colorado Education Association Celebrates Election 2023 Outcomes
A Victory for Educators, Students, and the Community

DENVER, CO – The Colorado Education Association (CEA) is proud to proclaim the results of the 2023 election to be a victory for many of our students, educators, and public schools across Colorado. In most districts, voters recognized the threat to student learning and voted for candidates who want to strengthen our public schools rather than tear them down. The CEA would like to express its gratitude to all the voters who participated in the 2023 elections including the nearly 40,000 members of the CEA who knocked doors, talked to voters, and voted. Voter support for public education in Colorado is a testament to a strong dedication to our state’s future.

Educators and families want exceptional education in a safe and supportive environment for all of our students, no matter where they live, the color of their skin or their household income. These elections come at a pivotal moment, as school board members develop an educational philosophy, establish goals for the district, adopt policies that have the force of law and supervise the superintendent, who implements board decisions. Their decisions and directives impact every student and educator in the district’s schools. In many districts across the state, voters chose to support students and educators, while others are still too close to call.

So far educators have claimed big wins in Adams 12, Aurora, Brighton 27J, Boulder Valley, Cañon City, Cherry Creek, Eagle County, Estes Park, Greeley, Gunnison, Jefferson County, Littleton, Poudre, Roaring Fork, Summit County, Thompson, and Westminster. In other places, we had some candidates win or are still too close to call: Aspen, Buena Vista, Mesa Valley, Moffat County, Pueblo 60, Widefield, and Woodland Park. In all of these districts, we will be watching closely to see whether support for students, educators, and public education prevails.

“The outcomes of the 2023 elections in Colorado are, in no small part, a testament to the unwavering efforts of the nearly 40,000 dedicated members who have played an instrumental role in electing pro-public education candidates,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, High School Counselor, and President of the Colorado Education Association. “The victories in school board races, mill and bond initiatives, and the unwavering support from the community send a resounding message: public education is a top priority. We are committed to collaborating with our newly elected officials to ensure that these election outcomes translate into tangible, enduring improvements for our educators, students, schools, and the broader Colorado community.”

Despite the losses in the school board races in Academy, Colorado Springs, and Denver, the CEA remains unwavering in our commitment to fighting for our members, students, and public education. Who we voted for is a reflection of what we want to see for our students, educators and schools. The candidates’ who committed to prioritizing students and educators over politics and ensuring the well-being of our educators and students is encouraging. We look forward to working collaboratively with the newly elected board members to further our shared goal of providing the best possible education for all students in Colorado.

In addition to celebrating the victories in the 2023 elections, the CEA acknowledges the outcome of the Proposition HH failing. While this particular initiative did not pass, it reminds us that there is still much work to be done in the pursuit of substantive systemic funding changes that are necessary for fully funded schools our students and educators deserve. We remain dedicated to the cause of ensuring that every child in Colorado has access to a high-quality public education. We will continue to work tirelessly alongside our community partners, elected officials and stakeholders to secure the essential resources and funding required to guarantee a brighter future for our state. It is our collective responsibility to advocate for the necessary investments in education that will pave the way for a prosperous and equitable Colorado for generations to come.

“The result of Proposition HH, while disappointing, only reinforces our determination to continue the fight for substantive systemic funding changes that our students and educators so desperately need,” said Baca-Oehlert. “Together, we will secure fully funded schools and a more equitable, prosperous Colorado.”

Key highlights of the election outcomes include:

  1. School Board Races: CEA congratulates the elected school board members who are committed to ensuring the best interests of students and educators. The elected board members will bring a wealth of experience, dedication, and a fresh perspective to the table. Their leadership will guide the direction of our schools, and we are excited to work collaboratively towards a brighter future for all students.
  2. Mill and Bond Wins: The successful passage of mill and bond initiatives around the state is a significant milestone for our schools. These investments will enable the construction and maintenance of modern, safe, and inspiring learning environments. We applaud the voters’ commitment to providing our students with the resources they need.
  3. Impact on Educators: These election outcomes are a tremendous victory for many educators throughout the state. With the support of newly elected school board members and additional funding from mill and bond initiatives, educators will have improved resources, training, and support. This will help educators continue their mission to provide quality education and ensure the well-being of every student.
  4. Impact on Students: Our students are the ultimate beneficiaries of these election results. With modern facilities and well-supported educators, students will have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.
  5. Impact on Schools and the Community: The positive effects of these election outcomes extend beyond the classroom. Strong public schools are the backbone of thriving communities. The community at large will benefit from well-maintained and supported schools that contribute to a prosperous future for Colorado.

About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is a membership-based organization that represents nearly 40,000 Colorado education professionals. The CEA promise to our students and communities is that the members of the Association will lead the way in guaranteeing every student access to the best public education. By working collectively with all education stakeholders, we will provide the best public education for every student and assure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.

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Colorado Education Association Applauds Governor Polis for Bold Budget Proposal, Prioritizing School Funding

Colorado Education Association Applauds Governor Polis for Bold Budget Proposal, Prioritizing School Funding

CONTACT
Sydney Slifka
Director of Digital Communications
Colorado Education Association
sslifka@coloradoea.org
(720) 512-7790

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2023

Colorado Education Association Applauds Governor Polis for Bold Budget Proposal, Prioritizing School Funding

DENVER, CO – As the representative of nearly 40,000 of Colorado’s education professionals, the Colorado Education Association is encouraged by Governor Jared Polis’ FY2023-24 state budget proposal, which places a strong emphasis on much-needed funding for Colorado’s public schools. The proposed full buy down of the Budget Stabilization factor underscores the Governor’s attentiveness to educators’ concerns and his unwavering commitment to strengthening our public education system, ensuring that every student has access to a high-quality education. Colorado is never, ever getting back together with the BS Factor.

The CEA is dedicated to advocating for a fully-funded education system. Despite Colorado’s thriving economy ranking 3rd in the nation, the state ranks 49th in average teacher starting salaries, and 35th in per-pupil spending. By the most generous estimate, Colorado’s students have faced a funding gap of at least $10 billion since the introduction of the Budget Stabilization factor in 2010 which translates to an entire generation of Colorado’s students who have never received a fully funded education in Colorado’s public schools.

To address the persistent issue of chronic disinvestment in Colorado’s students and educators spanning decades, it is crucial to not only buy down the Budget Stabilization factor to zero but also to reconsider the Colorado tax code restrictions that have contributed to this education funding crisis. Our public schools are grappling with a multitude of interconnected and complex challenges, all of which would greatly benefit from a sustained and systemic funding remedy.

The nearly 40,000 members of Colorado Education Association have been relentless advocates for increased funding for our students to ensure the schools all of Colorado’s students and educators deserve, sending nearly 4,000 postcards to the Governor this October with personal stories about the impact of having a fully funded public education system.  

“We are ready to move into our Fully Funded Era,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, High School Counselor, and President of the Colorado Education Association. “We applaud Governor Polis for taking swift action to address the long-standing funding challenges faced by Colorado’s public schools. Colorado public schools are ready to finally shake off the decades-long BS Factor.” 

The Colorado Education Association views his budget proposal as a pivotal step toward guaranteeing that Colorado’s students receive the high-quality education they rightfully deserve. We eagerly anticipate collaborating with the many public education advocates in the legislature to further enhance this financial investment and secure the most substantial funding for our public education system in Colorado history.

Highlights of the Governor’s budget proposal include:

  • Full Buy Down of the Budget Stabilization Factor: Governor Polis’s proposal addresses this critical issue, ensuring that the state’s budget is no longer balanced on the back of our schools.
  • Increase Per Pupil Funding: The budget prioritizes an average increase of $705 more per pupil, allowing schools to provide a better learning environment and resources for students.
  • Funding for summer EBT program: Help over 300,000 food-insecure children receive the nutrition they need in the summer. 
  • More Housing Now: Prioritizing state funding and policy to increase Colorado’s housing supply.

“It is clear that Governor Polis has listened to the persistent voices of CEA members and, in his budget proposal, has demonstrated a profound commitment to public education and a deep understanding of its crucial role in our state’s future,” said Baca-Oehlert. “We commend his bold budget proposal and look forward to collaborative efforts with him and our state legislators to transform this vision into a reality. Together, we can provide the resources and support needed for our students and educators to thrive.”

“A fully-funded education system would lead to attracting and retaining more educators, smaller class sizes, safer schools equipped with ample mental health professionals – all of which contribute to improved student outcomes for all students. This is the Colorado that our students deserve, that our education professionals deserve, and the future we must demand,” 

“We understand that this will be a long fight, marked by numerous significant challenges along the way. However, as Colorado’s largest labor union, we are ready for it. We are committed to working collaboratively with our state legislators to create policies around critical issues, from adequate funding to improved learning environments. By joining forces with our elected representatives, we will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our students and educators.”

About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is a membership-based organization that represents nearly 40,000 Colorado education professionals. The CEA promise to our students and communities is that the members of the Association will lead the way in guaranteeing every student access to the best public education. By working collectively with all education stakeholders, we will provide the best public education for every student and assure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.
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23.11.1-CEAPressRelease-GovernorBudgetAnnouncement
Election Recommendations From Colorado Education Association Announced

Election Recommendations From Colorado Education Association Announced

CEA logo

CONTACT
Sydney Slifka
sslifka@coloradoea.org
(720) 512-7790

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2023

Election Recommendations From Colorado Education Association Announced
Colorado’s largest union amplifies pro-public education school board candidates

DENVER – Colorado’s largest union, the Colorado Education Association (CEA), announced on behalf of its 39,000 members that it will support 2023 school board election candidates and state and local ballot measures that prioritize the investment, respect, and safety of our public schools.

School boards have enormous power in our schools. Board members establish the vision for the district, supervise the superintendent, set policy that has the force of law, control tax dollars, and approve curriculum.  Their decisions and directives impact every student and educator in the district’s schools. Who we vote for is a reflection of what we want to see for our students, educators, schools, and communities. Colorado’s education professionals remain united and more determined than ever to elect pro-public school board members this November who strengthen our public schools – rather than tear them down – to ensure our students learn the skills they need to be successful in their careers, college, and lives.

“The 39,000 members of the Colorado Education Association are focused on ensuring the election of pro-public education school board candidates who are committed to the success of students and educators,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the CEA. “Our public schools, students, and educators deserve school board members who prioritize students and educators over politics, so that all students – no matter their skin color or zip code – get an exceptional education.” 

The CEA has also endorsed Proposition HH. “We are proud to be supporting Prop HH, which will provide much needed property tax relief for Coloradans, while raising billions for public education over the next 10 years,” said Baca-Oehlert. “This critical funding for public education allows us to invest more in our kids, reversing decades of disinvestment and underfunding. We’ll finally be able to focus more on recruiting and retaining and attracting the best and brightest educators and investing in art, music, physical education, and mental health to support student learning – all while saving working families billions on property taxes.”

The CEA looks forward to engaging with thousands of voters in the coming month to stress the importance of the School Board elections, local initiatives and Proposition HH. The future of public education depends on the results. 

CEA Recommended Candidates and Ballot Initiatives for the 2023 Election:

Academy School Board
Heather Cloninger
Will Temby

Adams 12 School Board
Paula Battistelli
Lori Goldstein
Alexis Marsh-Holschen

Adams 27J School Board
District 1: Tom Green
District 3: Melinda Carbajal
District 7: Rachel Wilhelm

Aspen School Board
Cassie Harrelson

Aurora School Board
Vicki Reinhard
Tiffany Tasker
Danielle Tomwing

Boulder Valley School Board
District A: Neil Fishman and Jason Unger 
District C: Alex Medler
District D: Lalenia Quinlan Aweida
District G: Jorge Chavez

Buena Vista School Board
At-Large: Mallory Brooks and Paula Dylan
District 1: Casey Martin

Canon City School Board
Bret Meuli
Robin Reeser
Janelle Valladares

Cherry Creek School Board
District A: Anne Egan
District B: Ruthie Knowles
District C: Angela Garland

Colorado Springs School Board
Darleen Daniels
Shay Dabney
Rachel Paul
Kate Singh

Denver School Board
At-Large: Kwame Spearman
District 1: Scott Balderman
District 5: Charmaine Lindsay

Eagle County School Board
District A: Kelly Alter
District C: Harry McQueeney
District D: Lucia Tvarkunas
District E: Juan Pena

Elizabeth School Board
Roxanne Aviles

Estes Park School Board
Brad Shochat
Brenda Wyss

Greeley-Evans School Board
Doran Azar
iBrenda Campos-Spitze
Natalie Mash

Gunnison Watershed School Board
Anne Brookhart
Jody Coleman
Mark VanderVeer

Littleton School Board
Cherie Garcia-Kuper
Lindley  McCrary
Michelle Redfearn

Jefferson County School Board
District 3: Michelle Applegate
District 4: Erin Kentworthy

Mesa Valley School Board
District A: Jose Luis Chavez
District B: Cindy Enos-Martinez

Moffat County School Board
District B: Meghan Francone
District C: Steve Martinson
District D: Paula Belcher

Poudre School Board
District B: Kevin Havelda
District F: Conor Duffy
District G: Jessica Zamora

Pueblo 60 School Board
Tommy Farrell
Anthony Perko
Sol Sandoval Tafoya
Bill Thiebaut

Roaring Fork School Board
Elizabeth After
Lindsay DeFrates

Summit County School Board
Vanessa Agee
Consuelo Redhorse
Julie Shapiro
Gayle Westerberg

Thompson School Board
District A: Dawn Kirk
District C: Briah Freeman
District D: Denise Chapman
District G: Stu Boyd

Westminster School Board
Christine Martinez
Mary Beth Murphy
Audrey Yanos

Widefield School Board
Kelly Cutcher
Alvin Sexton
Mark Walker

Statewide Ballot Measures
Proposition HH – YES

Local Ballot Measures (all Yes)
Archuleta County Mill-Ballot Issue 5A
Canon City-Question 4A Bond measure
Eagle County Mill-Question 5A
Eagle County Bond-Question 5B
Englewood Mill
Falcon Mill
Weld E8 School District (Ft. Lupton) Mill & Bond

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About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is the voice of 39,000 educators, working together in a strong union to ensure all students get the exceptional public schools they deserve, in every neighborhood across the state. As Colorado’s largest labor union, CEA works collectively with all education stakeholders to ensure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.

Follow CEA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

NEA Member Benefits – September 2023

NEA Member Benefits – September 2023

NEA Member Benefits

The NEA Discount Marketplace, powered by Rakuten, enables members to earn Cash Back when they shop and save on brand-name merchandise from over 3,500 top retailers and online stores. Check out the following member-exclusive deals in September 2023 at neamb.com/marketplace:

Michaels
Get creative with craft supplies and explore the new Maker Place at Michaels this fall. Members save more by shopping through the NEA Discount Marketplace.

Macy’s
Members save more at Macy’s. Earn extra cash back on clothing, jewelry, toys and home décor. Visit the NEA Discount Marketplace to start shopping for all your fall favorites today!

Finish Line
Get back-to-school deals on athletic shoes and clothing at Finish Line when you shop through the NEA Discount Marketplace. Members earn extra cash back on every purchase!

Champion
Stay comfortable in the classroom with classic sportswear from Champion USA. Members save on all their favorites and earn extra cash back.

PetSmart
Keep your pet happy and healthy with food, toys, treats and more from PetSmart. Discover member deals when you shop through the NEA Discount Marketplace.

*If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the exclusive member deals above, simply search for your favorite retailer in the search box on the NEA Discount Marketplace page!


This fall, find your next car with the NEA® Auto Buying Program
Shop vehicles from top brands and view upfront price offers on local inventory. Plus, get up to $2,000 in post-sale benefits including auto repair and auto deductible reimbursements when you report your new or used car purchase from a Certified Dealer. Learn more: NEA Auto Buying Program for Teachers | NEA Member Benefits (neamb.com).


Back-to-School Savings at Costco
Save more on back-to-school supplies with a new Costco membership! Enjoy low warehouse prices every day. Plus, new Costco members receive a $30 Costco Shop Card with auto-renewal. Join today: Costco Teacher Discount Membership for Educators | NEA Member Benefits (neamb.com).


Have you registered your Comp Life beneficiary yet?
If not, check out this informative video to help you get started: https://www.neamb.com/life-insurance-protection/how-to-name-beneficiaries-video

 

 

Brittany Metke – COpilot Featured Facilitator

Brittany Metke – COpilot Featured Facilitator

Meet Brittany Metke – One of our amazing COpilot Facilitators!

Brittany teaches math at PSD Global Academy and is a proud 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!

Brittany will facilitate several classes that start next week! Click the links below to enroll in one of her great classes.