Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
CEA Media Release: Colorado Education Association Applauds State Board of Education’s Vote to Implement Inclusive Standards

CEA Media Release: Colorado Education Association Applauds State Board of Education’s Vote to Implement Inclusive Standards

CONTACT
Lauren Stephenson
Director of Communications
Colorado Education Association
LStephenson@coloradoea.org
(303) 968-5573

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2022

Colorado Education Association Applauds State Board of Education’s Vote to Implement Inclusive Standards

DENVER, CO. – The Colorado Education Association is encouraged by today’s Colorado State Board of Education vote on the state’s Social Studies standards. By a vote of 4-3, the board solidified Colorado’s place as one of the first states to fully incorporate marginalized groups, including LGBTQ+ individuals, in its Social Studies standards.

This important decision follows state law as defined in the passage of HB 19-1192, but thanks to politicized arguments it has taken almost a year to implement. HB 19-1192, called the “Inclusion of American Minorities In Teaching Civil Government,” was sponsored by Reps. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, Bri Buentello, and Senator Julie Gonzales, during the 2019 legislative session. Its ultimate goal is to ensure that students learn the full spectrum of our collective history, thereby creating welcoming schools where every student can thrive, and become successful, informed citizens in our diverse world.

However, as the State Board of Education began to debate the recommendations from the Social Studies review committee (a committee made up of educators, parents, and community stakeholders), they received pushback against the law’s implementation thanks to a national campaign by rightwing activists. These activists provided hundreds of “recommendations,” which effectively erased from the standards all references to LGBTQ+ people, people of color, immigrants and other groups; as well as references to “equity,” “marginalized groups”; and any themes that were thought to reflect negatively on the United States’ history.1

Though they purported to be fighting for the quality of students’ education, they ignored virtually all feedback from education experts and professionals, parents, and students.

Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the CEA, had this to say at today’s State Board of Ed meeting: “This fall I criss-crossed the state to speak with as many educators as I could. And one thing that I can say with certainty is that educators are keenly aware of the discussions happening with the SBOE regarding the Social Studies standards. There is palpable fear for their students based on some of the rhetoric that has been espoused during the Social Studies standards review process.”

She continued, “As educators, we are committed, first and foremost, to creating educational spaces that are inclusive and offer students an environment without fear or intimidation, where they can learn and grow.”

Colorado’s State Board of Education ultimately agreed with this view, and voted to fully implement the Social Studies standards dictated in HB 19-1192.

This will be welcome news to CEA’s members and Colorado parents generally, who, research has shown, are more concerned with the real issues facing students and public schools – like a lack of funding and safety – than they are about distracting culture wars orchestrated by outside political interest groups.

“The Colorado Education Association remains committed to our students, and to collaborating with our districts and communities to create the safe and inclusive schools that our students deserve. Educators will always put our students first no matter their race, background, sexuality, or gender expression,” said Baca-Oehlert.

  1. Conservative Feedback Reshapes Colorado Social Studies Standards by Chase Woodruff

# # #

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

CEA Media Release: Colorado Education Association Applauds State Board of Education’s Vote to Implement Inclusive Standards

CEA Media Release: Colorado Voters Elect Majority Pro-Public Education Candidates in Historic Mid-Term Election

CEA Logo

CONTACT
Lauren Stephenson
Director of Communications
Colorado Education Association
LStephenson@coloradoea.org
(303) 968-5573

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2022

Colorado Voters Elect Majority Pro-Public Education Candidates in Historic Mid-Term Election

DENVER, CO – The Colorado Education Association is thrilled to announce historic wins for pro-public school candidates and initiatives up and down the Colorado ballot.

In addition to an incredibly strong showing by pro-public school education candidates on the federal and state level, we are equally excited by the array of wins at virtually every level of Colorado’s local government. Pending the results of outstanding races, Colorado voters may have elected the most public school educators to ever be seated in our state’s government.

Victories by CEA member candidates like Megan Lukens, Barbara McLachlan, and Dave Young; as well as public education champions like Kathy Plomer and Rebecca McClellan for Colorado’s Board of Education, show that Coloradans want more education experts in leadership. In fact, Colorado’s House and Senate, as well as Colorado’s State Board of Education, now all have pro-public school candidate majorities, and the overwhelming majority of CEA’s recommended candidates were voted into office.

We’re also hopeful about the few outstanding races of CEA members and pro-public education candidates such as Janice Marchman, Eliza Hamrick, Mary Young, and Rhonda Solis, who are currently ahead and have had a strong showing thus far.

The CEA is equally encouraged by the successes of ballot measures GG and FF, which will have measurable long-term benefits for our schools, students, educators, and communities. Prop GG will provide much needed transparency to Colorado’s voters when considering tax ballot measures, to ensure that they can confidently vote their values. CEA’s members are also looking forward to the many benefits of Prop FF, which will provide nourishing meals for all of our students, no matter what.

Likewise, we’re excited by the bond and mill levy wins in communities across the state, such as Greeley-Evans, Windsor, Brighton 27A, Mapleton, and Boulder Valley, which will infuse those school districts with sorely needed funding.

It is abundantly clear that Coloradans understand that our public schools need and deserve funding, and when given the chance, voters are excited to invest in their neighborhood schools.

“Colorado voters have spoken: Public education is a central priority for our state,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the CEA. “It’s clear that the vast majority of Coloradans not only support public schools, but understand that one of the best ways to show that support is by voting their pro-public school values in every election.”

“We’d like to especially thank our 39,000 members who have done so much to get pro-public school candidates elected – and for the critical work that they do every single day,” said Baca-Oehlert.

This pro-public school majority arrives at a critical time for Colorado, when our public schools, our education professionals, and our students are in desperate need of investment. We look forward to working with this new and ambitious slate of leaders to ensure that investing in our students, our education professionals, and our public schools becomes a reality.

# # #

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 TwitterFacebook and Instagram

 

CEA Media Release: Colorado’s Education Professionals Are Encouraged by Governor Polis’ Proposed State Budget

CEA Media Release: Colorado’s Education Professionals Are Encouraged by Governor Polis’ Proposed State Budget

CONTACT
Lauren Stephenson
Director of Communications
Colorado Education Association
LStephenson@coloradoea.org
303-968-5573

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2022

Colorado’s Education Professionals Are Encouraged by Governor Polis’ Proposed State Budget
Turns Attention to Legislature to Secure Necessary Investment

DENVER, CO – As the representative of Colorado’s 39,000 education professionals, the Colorado Education Association is encouraged by the level of education funding put forth in Governor Jared Polis’ FY2022-23 state budget announced today.

In particular we commend his dedication to increased investment in per-pupil funding and special education support. In conjunction with the 2021-2022 budget, it’s clear that the Governor understands that there are few priorities that are as critical and consistently underfunded as Colorado’s education system.

We look forward to working with the many public education champions in the legislature to build upon this funding to secure the largest possible investment in our education system.

The CEA and its members are fighting for nothing less than a fully-funded education system. Our state’s robust economy ranks 6th in the nation, but ranks 49th in salaries for education professionals, and 40th in per-pupil spending. By the most generous measure, Colorado’s students have been robbed of at least $10 billion since the implementation of the Budget Stabilization factor in 2010.

To right decades of chronic disinvestment will require not just the elimination of the Budget Stabilization factor, but a reimagining of the restrictive tax code that has led to this financial depletion. Our public schools face many overlapping, complex challenges, all of which would be remedied by an influx of sustained, substantial investment.

Everyday Coloradans understand this and respect our education professionals. 74% of parents approve of their children’s teachers and said they would support a pay increase.

“A fully-funded education system would mean attracting and retaining more educators, smaller class sizes, safer schools equipped with ample mental health professionals – all of which lead to better student outcomes for all students. This is the Colorado that our students deserve, that our education professionals deserve, and the future we all must demand, ” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association.

“When we talk about Colorado’s education system, we’re not just talking about our children’s physical schools and facilities. It’s time our legislators realize that without an adequate public education system, Colorado cannot reasonably hope to maintain its status as a magnet for innovation, progress, and democracy. We know that this will be a long fight, and there are many significant battles along the way. But as Colorado’s largest labor union, we will continue to show up and to support pro-public school education leaders and legislation in every facet of our government. Our teachers and students deserve nothing less.”

About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is a membership-based organization that represents 39,000 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.

# # #

CEA Media Release: Election Recommendations From Colorado Education Association Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 6, 2022

Contact: Lauren Stephenson LStephenson@coloradoea.org  ‭(303) 968-5573‬

Colorado’s largest union amplifies pro-public education candidates

DENVER – Colorado’s largest union, the Colorado Education Association (CEA), announced on behalf of its 39,000 members that it will support 2022 election candidates and ballot measures that prioritize the investment, respect, and safety of our public schools.

In just the last two years, CEA’s members have weathered an historic pandemic where they overcame unbelievable hurdles to support, educate, and feed Colorado’s students; they’ve shouldered increasing responsibility while earning the absolute lowest wages in the country; and they continue to face an unprecedented educator shortage in their workplaces and a lack of affordable housing in their communities. Despite these immense challenges, Colorado’s education professionals remain united and more determined than ever to elect pro-public education leadership this November

“The 39,000 members of the Colorado Education Association are focused on ensuring the election of pro-public education candidates, and to passing pro-public education ballot measures. Our students and educators deserve nothing less than fully-resourced schools,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the CEA. “Our public schools, students, and educators deserve elected officials who will take bold action to tackle the chronic underfunding of our public schools, so that all students – no matter their skin color or zip code – get an exceptional education.” She continued, “We have the solutions to remedy our public schools. What we need is the full investment, trust, and respect of our elected leadership.”

CEA Recommended Candidates and Ballot Initiatives for the 2022 Election

For the latest CEA election recommendations, visit cea.yourvoter.guide

Federal Candidates

  • US Senate – Michael Bennet
  • House CD1 – Diana DeGette
  • House CD2 – Joe Neguse
  • House CD6 – Jason Crow
  • House CD7 – Brittany Pettersen
  • House CD8 – Yadira Caraveo

State and Legislative Candidates

  • Secretary of State – Jena Griswold
  • State Treasurer – Dave Young
  • State Attorney General – Phil Weiser
  • Governor – Jared Polis
  • State Board of Education – Kathy Plomer
  • State Board of Education CD6 – Rebecca McClellan
  • State Board of Education CD8 – Rhonda Solis
  • State SD3 – Nick Hinrichsen
  • State SD8 – Dylan Roberts
  • State SD9 – Arik Dougherty
  • State SD11 – Tony Exum
  • State SD15 – Janice Marchman
  • State SD20 – Lisa A. Cutter
  • State SD22 – Jessie Danielson
  • State SD24 – Kyle Mullica
  • State SD25 – Faith Winter
  • State SD27 – Tom Sullivan
  • State SD30 – Braeden Miguel
  • State SD32 – Robert Rodriguez
  • State SD34 – Julie C. Gonzales
  • State HD1 – Javier Mabrey
  • State HD2 – Steven Woodrow
  • State HD3 – Meg Froelich
  • State HD4 – Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez
  • State HD6 – Elisabeth Epps
  • State HD7 – Jennifer Bacon
  • State HD9 – Emily Sirota
  • State HD10 Junie Joseph
  • State HD11 – Karen McCormick
  • State HD12 – Tracey Bernett
  • State HD13 – Julie McCluskie
  • State HD14 Rob Rogers
  • State HD16 – Stephanie Vigil
  • State HD17 Regina English
  • State HD18 – Marc Snyder
  • State HD19 – Jennifer Lea Parenti
  • State HD23 – Monica Irasema Duran
  • State HD24 – Lindsey N. Daugherty
  • State HD25 – Tammy Story
  • State HD26 – Meghan Lukens
  • State HD27 – Brianna Titone
  • State HD28 – Sheila Lieder
  • State HD29 – Shannon Bird
  • State HD30 – Chris Kennedy
  • State HD31 – Said Sharbini
  • State HD32 – Dafna Michaelson Jenet
  • State HD33 – William Lindstedt
  • State HD34 – Jenny Willford
  • State HD36 – Mike Weissman
  • State HD37 – Ruby Dickson
  • State HD38 – David Ortiz
  • State HD39 – Eric Brody
  • State HD41 – Iman M. Jodeh
  • State HD42 – Mandy Lindsay
  • State HD43 – Robert “Bob” Marshall
  • State HD46 – Tisha Lyn Mauro
  • State HD47 – Edwin Dean Ormiston
  • State HD49 – Judy Amabile
  • State HD50 – Mary Young
  • State HD52 – Cathy Kipp
  • State HD53 – Andrew Boesenecker
  • State HD57 – Elizabeth Velasco
  • State HD59 – Barbara McLachlan
  • State HD61 – Eliza Hamrick
  • State HD62 – Matthew Martinez
  • State HD65 Lisa Chollet
  • State HD60 Kathryn Green

STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURES

  • SUPPORT – Proposition GG (formerly SB 222) “Amount of Tax Owed Table for Initiatives”
  • SUPPORT – Proposition FF (formerly HB 1414) “Healthy Meals for All Public School Students”
  • SUPPORT – Proposition 123 (formerly Initiative #108) “Dedicate Revenue for Affordable Housing Programs”
  • OPPOSE – Proposition 121 (formerly Initiative #31) “State Income Tax Rate Reduction”
  • SUPPORT – ALL Local Mill Levy Override / Bond Measures – Property taxes are the first source of funding for our schools, and any reduction of property taxes (or failure to set property taxes consistent with rising property values) necessarily reduces our schools’ funding.

About the Colorado Education Association

The Colorado Education Association is a membership-based organization that represents 39,000 Colorado educators. 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.

For more: coloradoea.org

 

###

CEA Media Release: Cherry Creek bus assistants stand up for union rights at board meeting

MEDIA RELEASE
June 13, 2022
Contact: Linda He, LHe@coloradoea.org, ‭(720) 498-0928‬

Cherry Creek bus assistants stand up for union rights at board meeting
Demand to be included in transportation union unit

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, COLO. – Tonight nearly 50 bus assistants who work with special education students and their allies demanded union rights at the Cherry Creek School District board meeting. After three months of stonewalling by board members, a draft policy was finally on the agenda, although the board did not vote on it. Nearly 80 percent of bus assistants have signed union cards.

“I’m committed to working with our most vulnerable students but even after more than 20 years, in this job I earn less than $20 an hour. I have to live with my mom because it’s not a living wage,” said Heather Music, a Cherry Creek bus assistant. “We’re here tonight to stand up for ourselves and our students so that our union is recognized, just like it is in other metro districts.”

Cherry Creek Bus Assistants United gave public comment in support of a policy that would resolve disputes during the recognition process, so that workers would not have to wait a year before further negotiations. Workers would like to ensure that the Cherry Creek School Board passes a policy that will not only allow them to be recognized as a union, but provide a pathway for future unions in Cherry Creek.

“I have worked as a bus assistant for nearly 14 years, and year after year I have seen very insignificant increases to my pay – sometimes as low as 11 cents an hour,” said Tina Brown, a Cherry Creek bus assistant. “This is why we are demanding a union in order to bargain for meaningful pay increases, so more assistants can afford to stay in this profession and provide consistency for our students.”

As required by law, bus assistants work exclusively with special education students, handling medication and managing behavior and other needs during transport to and from school. Cherry Creek bus assistants are seeking to be included in the Cherry Creek Transportation Employees Association unit and to have union recognition just like bus assistants in other metro districts, like Jefferson County, Boulder Valley and Westminster.

Cherry Creek bus assistants rallying together

###

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.

CEA Media Release: Solid Victories and Missed Opportunities Highlight the 2022 Legislative Session

CONTACT
Frank Valdez
Colorado Education Association
fvaldez@coloradoea.org
(720) 372-8888 Cell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2022

Solid Victories and Missed Opportunities Highlight the 2022 Legislative Session
CEA now turns attention to 2022 midterm elections

DENVER – With the 2022 Legislative Session in the books, the 39,000 members of the Colorado Education Association played a key role in advancing consequential legislation that improved the lives of Colorado students and educators this session. The session fell a bit short in some areas but overall, public education in Colorado is better today than it was in 2021.

“We had a bold agenda when we published our State of Education report in December and we definitely improved the lives of Colorado students and educators as we end this session,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association. “Did we achieve everything we set out to achieve? No but we made significant progress with evaluations, educator privacy, shoring up PERA and significantly buying down the Budget Stabilization Factor. We made significant strides and every one of our 39,000 members made a difference.”

Among key victories by the union this year was a significant buy down of the Budget Stabilization Factor to its lowest level in well over a decade to $321 million, with the real promise of buying it completely down by 2024. This was one of CEA’s main priorities heading into the session as a graduating senior in 2022 had never seen a fully funded public education system.

Other key victories include House Bill (HB) 22-1029, Compensatory Direct Distribution to Public Employees’ Retirement Association, which recommit the state’s 2020 missed payment into the PERA system of $225 million and an additional $155 million as a pre-payment. SB22-069, Learning Disruption Effect on Teacher Evaluation, which provides educators a two-year grace period against high stakes testing being used against their evaluations and ensures that educators are not held accountable for poor academic growth measures resulting from the pandemic emergency. SB22-070, Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade Licensed Personnel Performance Evaluations, is the result of the Governor’s 2019 stakeholder process and represents a compromise reform. While it does not go as far as CEA and many members would like, this bill does reduce the percentage of an educator’s evaluation that can be based off of student growth measures from 50% to 30%, as well as provides modified evaluation rubrics and additional resources for districts, among other things. SB 22-137, Transition Back to Standard K-12 Accountability makes adjustments to the school accountability system to make sure hundreds of schools aren’t unfairly placed on the accountability clock due to insufficient data. Finally, SB22-171, Privacy Protections for Educators protects educators from doxing, the release of educators’ personal, identifiable information on the internet, by members of the public. It will also prohibit school districts from releasing the dates of sick leave taken by educators to address situations like what happened in Douglas County.

“We’re disappointed that K-12 wasn’t a part of this year’s attempt at a statewide collective bargaining bill but we will continue to make that a priority for all of Colorado’s public workers,” said Baca-Oehlert. “We can, however, hold our heads high in knowing that we significantly improved the lives of Colorado students, their families and educators in 2022. We’d like to carry this momentum into the fall election cycle where we will work tirelessly to elect pro-public education candidates to help us make more of an impact in the 2023 Legislative Session.”

###

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.