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CEA Media Release: New America School Educators Seeking Recognition from Board

Posted on: October 21, 2021
Posted By: CEA Communications
Posted in: Press
Tagged: Charter Organizing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2021

New America School Educators Seeking Recognition from Board
Educators seek unionization; seat at table

DENVER – A majority of educators with the New America School (NAS) presented a petition to the New America Board last night seeking recognition of their union. The educators are asking to go to the bargaining table to discuss solutions to declining student achievement, high educator turnover and a negative school culture where educator voice is essentially muted.

“Our students deserve a school where they know that their teachers will return consistently but unfortunately, the current environment at NAS has led to massive staff changes every single year,” said Collette Simkins, New America School Art and Drama teacher. “The teaching staff in the NAS system believe that it is time for a change. We need a seat at the table. Teachers leave because decisions are made about our jobs without any meaningful input from us. We want to be included in decisions about our schools, our students, and our jobs.”

“At the end of the day, we all just want what’s best for our students,” said Elaina King, social studies teacher and instructional coach. “We want recognition so that we can best serve our diverse student population. All kids no matter their backgrounds need teachers who are there for them through thick and thin.”

“We proudly stand with the New America School educators,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association. “These brave educators are standing up and doing what’s right for their students and their school and this is nothing short of heroic. The 39,000 members of the CEA stand in solidarity with the educators of NAS and pledge to support in any way we can to help them achieve recognition.”

Educators are concerned that their expertise and input is often ignored by administration, which has led to a decline in student achievement. Because of the exodus of educators from all three campuses, remaining educators are forced to take on more. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the underlying issues at the New America School.

The New America School is composed of three campuses: Lakewood, Aurora, and Thornton. Each campus was authorized by Jefferson County Public Schools, the Colorado Charter School Institute, and Adams 12 School District, respectively. There are 30 educators across all three campuses.

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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“Our students deserve a school where they know that their teachers will return consistently but unfortunately, the current environment at NAS has led to massive staff changes every single year.”