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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.”

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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.

SD14CTA Media Release: Adams 14 Educators Shocked by State Board Vote

CONTACT
Jason Malmberg
720-261-0273
jasonmalmberg7@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2022

Adams 14 Educators Shocked by State Board Vote
Committed to District-TNTP management consultants partnership

COMMERCE CITY, COLO. – In a surprise move, yesterday the State Board of Education voted to start a reorganization process for Adams 14, just a month after voting for the district to co-govern with a partial manager. The audience at yesterday’s vote was sparse, while so many Adams County residents attended the April meeting, spectators spilled into the overflow room.

“Educators, students and families are stunned that the State Board of Education voted to reverse last month’s decision to support the innovation and partial management plans put forth by the district and supported by the community,” said Jason Malmberg, a music teacher and School District 14 Classroom Teachers Association president. “Even though we’re furious that the State Board continues to jerk us all around, we want to be clear that teachers are committed to not just finishing the school year strong for our students, but also collaborating with Dr. Loria, the district, our community and others to advance the future of Adams 14 schools.

The Adams 14 district has been in constant turmoil since the State Board of Education forced a private for-profit management partner on them, an expensive and failed experiment that left staff, students, parents and community members demoralized and frustrated. Last month’s district proposal for co-partner management status outlined that district staff, educators, students and families would come together to build community schools to provide the wraparound services that are proven to lead to greater student well-being and academic growth.

“The Commerce City community has communicated loud and clear that they want a collaborative school design process that prioritizes the needs and strengths of the community, and we all feel confused and heartbroken about the Board’s vote,” said Lacey Mueller-Taschdjian, a middle school math teacher in the district. “No matter what we look like, where we live or how much we have in our wallets, we all want exceptional public schools that inspire imagination, cultivate critical thinking and encourage collaboration to ensure our children can live fulfilling lives – and the innovation plan for Central Elementary and a community school to open in the fall will help get us there.”

The Adams 14 community has a strong sense of community pride, with multiple generations in families having attended from its local schools. Many students will continue this legacy when they graduate at commencement on May 21, 2022.

“I grew up in a working class minority family, just like the kids in my class. These students are at risk of losing the opportunity to earn a seal of biliteracy, a valuable certification that attests to their language abilities,” said Derene Armelin, an Adams 14 elementary school teacher and Adams 14 graduate. “It looks to me like the State Board of Education is unfairly discriminating against this community based on their income and skin color since I have never seen them challenge and disrespect a white, male superintendent like they have Dr. Loria.”

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The School District 14 Classroom Teachers Association represents Adams 14 educators and is a local of the Colorado Education Association, Colorado’s largest labor union. The Colorado Education Association is the voice of 39,000 educators, working together to ensure all students get the exceptional public schools they deserve, in every neighborhood across the state.

Colorado Education Association Statement on Introduction of Collective Bargaining Bill

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2022

Colorado Education Association Statement on Introduction of Collective Bargaining Bill
CEA will continue to fight for a bill that benefits all public workers in Colorado

DENVER, CO – Today, the Colorado state Legislature introduced a collective bargaining bill, Senate Bill 22-230, Collective Bargaining for Counties. The following statement can be attributed to Amie Baca-Oehlert , high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association:

“No matter what school we work in — whether it’s in a small town, the suburbs, or in a large city, as educators across Colorado, we all want our students to thrive and succeed. Our students do better when their educators can collectively bargain with their districts.

“We support the ability of ALL public workers across the state of Colorado to be able to form unions, be recognized and collectively bargain. We are disappointed to not see a bill that covers all Colorado public workers and that doesn’t contain strong provisions like strike rights and bargaining unit formation decided by workers. You can look no further than the Denver metro area New America Schools (NAS) as evidence why Colorado public workers need collective bargaining rights. After months of stalling, the NAS board voted last week to decline recognition of the union in a school system where 77% of the teachers voted to unionize while nearly 50% of the staff have quit in the past 6 months. Collective bargaining rights for all shouldn’t be a debate. While providing rights to some public workers, such as county workers, is a step forward, we still have a long way to go to ensure that all public workers have basic fundamental rights to form a union and collectively bargain.

“The 39,000 members of the Colorado Education Association stand with all public service workers in Colorado and will continue to work toward securing the fundamental rights of all workers to have a legitimate voice in their workplace.”

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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.

SD14CTA & CEA Statement: Adams 14 & CEA Educators Cautiously Optimistic After State Board Vote

CONTACT
Jason Malmberg
720-261-0273

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2022

Adams 14 & CEA Educators Cautiously Optimistic After State Board Vote
District will move to co-govern with management consultants

The following statement can be attributed to Jason Malmberg, middle school music teacher and president of the SD14 Classroom Teachers Association:

“Today, educators, students and families are breathing a little easier after the State Board of Education voted to grant Adams 14 time to produce its innovation and partial management plans for the district, Central Elementary and Adams City High School. There will be no school closures which is a major victory for the students, families, educators and community.

“Our district has been in constant turmoil since the State Board of Education forced a private for-profit management partner on us, a failed experiment that left us all demoralized and frustrated. We’re cautiously optimistic that under co-partner management status, district staff, educators, students and families can come together to build the community schools we believe will provide the wraparound services that lead to greater student health and academic growth.

“District 14 educators are eager to collaborate with Dr. Loria, the district, and a new partner to provide the academic, social, emotional and other support our students need to learn, thrive and make their dreams come true. We are encouraged to develop a plan that will be envisioned with authentic community input as we heard loud and clear from community members that they want a collaborative school design process that prioritizes the needs and strengths of the community.

“With a strong sense of community pride, our students will continue the Adams 14 legacy when many of them will become third and fourth generation graduates of their public schools in May and in years to come.”

The following statement can be attributed to Amie Baca Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association, the voice of 39,000 educators:

“No matter what we look like, where we live or how much we have in our wallets, we all want exceptional public schools that inspire imagination, cultivate critical thinking and encourage collaboration to ensure our children can live fulfilling lives – that includes the hardworking families and educators in Commerce City. The Colorado Education Association will continue to support the students, families, and educators of Adams 14 by supporting our community school model and its expansion throughout Adams 14.”

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CEA Statement: Confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2022

Colorado Education Association Statement on the Confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court

DENVER – Today, the United States Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson’s confirmation makes her the first female African-American appointed to our nation’s highest court. The following statement can be attributed to Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association:

“The 39,000 members of the Colorado Education Association celebrate the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court. Her appointment and confirmation after a lifetime of dedicated public service is a testament to hard work and perseverance.

“The barriers and roadblocks to Judge Jackson’s confirmation were well-displayed for all to see and represents the work we still have to do in order for our children to grow up in a world where anyone, no matter the color of their skin or how much money their parents make, can dream and achieve anything.”

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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.

CEA Media Release: Colorado Education Association Members Rally with Collective Bargaining Bill Coalition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2022

Colorado Education Association Members Rally with Coalition
Calls on Lawmakers to Introduce Collective Bargaining Bill

DENVER – Today members of the Colorado Education Association (CEA) participated in a rally on the west steps of the State Capitol as a part of the coalition Public Workers United Colorado, calling on lawmakers to introduce a statewide collective bargaining bill. The proposed bill, sponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-HD46) and Sen. Steve Fenberg (D-SD18), would give all public employees in the state of Colorado the right to form and be recognized as a union.

“Coloradans want all of our students to thrive and succeed, and public school educators are actually the experts on how to make that happen,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association. “The problem is our voices are too often dismissed and even disrespected in some circles. That’s why all K-12 educators absolutely deserve collective-bargaining rights.”

“Every single worker in Colorado deserves the right to choose a union with collective bargaining rights, especially public workers like us,” said Jennifer Muñoz, secretary and member of Jefferson County Support Professionals Association. “We are the ones working for Colorado students and parents every day, both in and out of the classroom. We are experts in our field, and can speak firsthand to the challenges Colorado students and educators currently face, and how we can all work together to overcome them.”

The bill has yet to be introduced and the CEA and its partners are continuing to work with the bill sponsors and stakeholders to introduce legislation to ensure all public workers, the very workers who have been on the frontlines in our communities, across the state are covered.

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.

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