[First published October 6, 2015 – latest edition Oct 18.]
Julie Williams, one of the three majority members of the Colorado Jefferson County Board of Education (Jeffco BOE) sent out a September 9, 2015 First Newslettter to the public.
She gave examples of what really has been happening on the Jeffco BOE, in contrast to every single accusation on the recall ballot (every accusation is false – a lie).
We should stop this “Chicago-type corruption” from ever happening again. It is really dangerous to allow recalls in the middle of terms based on such obvious pure fabrication. It destroys all credibility and trust in the system that allows such slander (including accusations of criminal behavior) to be printed on ballots. Somebody is liable for this intentional dishonest defamation of character. It misleads the voters when such lies are stated as facts on their ballots.
Below is the 2-page, printer friendly version of the Julie-approved rewrite of her Sept 24, 2015 Newsletter Newsletter. It is divided into talking point sections with explanations. It is perfect for a handout. — Donna Jack
______Julie’s 2015-09-24 letter to the public:__________
The Current Colorado Jefferson County Board of Education (Jeffco BOE) Majority
Has strongly emphasized academic achievement and fiscal responsibility.
They have been moving forward achieving great things, even with harassment from the unions and their supporters; disruption at school board meetings; school walk-outs/strikes; and the recall which steals time/money away from school board business.
For 4 years under previous boards, there were no raises for teachers. Teachers even took a pay cut.
THE CURRENT BOARD MAJORITY OF REFORM MEMBERS
HAVE ACCOMPLISHED GREAT THINGS:
—- Added an additional $34,000,000 in increased teacher compensation
—- (TEACHER UNION [JCEA UNION BOSSES] SUED NEW SCHOOL BOARD FOR THIS RAISE –- costing the school district time and money)
—- Put in place a merit pay program -– it rewards great teachers.
—- Made starting salaries for Jeffco teachers more competitive: raised to $38,000
—- Adjusted prior new teacher salaries equitable to Jeffco new hire level plus adjustment for being effective or highly effective.
—- FOR THE FIRST TIME: teachers who reached the top of pay scale of $81,013 and were effective and highly effective are eligible to receive an annual stipend.
REALITY CHECK — TOTAL TEACHER BENEFITS – SOME COMPARED TO PRIVATE SECTOR:
Teacher PERA (retirement) – school district pays into PERA 18.35% over a teacher’s pay.
Private sector: pays 7.65% over salary amount of a professional into Social Security
Teacher Insurance benefit of $6,120
Jeffco teachers work 40 hours per week (8 hours a day), 183 days a year (JCEA contract)
Private sector – Salaried professionals typically work 9-10 hours a day, 250 days a year
(based on 5-day work-week).
PLUS teachers get:
Professional development days/trips
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY OF PREVIOUS UNION-CONTROLLED JEFFCO BOEs
COMPARED TO TRANSPARENCY OF CURRENT REFORM BOE MAJORITY
— Under Previous Union-controlled board – all Union negotiations were always closed and secret
— Under present board majority – Union negotiations are live-streamed and so are all Jeffco BOE meetings. They can be seen from home live or at a later time, and they are archived on the district website. ( http://livestream.com/accounts/10429076/events/3542310 )
RECOGNIZING DIFFERENT NEEDS AND WANTS OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS:
This BOE majority increased programs like STEM, Classical and Core Knowledge.
Note: Jeffco has 15 charter schools. Denver County, which is similar in size, has approximately 50 charter schools. (http://www.greatschools.org)
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, THIS BOARD MAJORITY MADE SURE:
All Jeffo Public School students (including charter school students) for the first time, are funded equally!
Student Based Budgeting (SBB) is implemented, for the first time county wide, so financial decisions for individual schools go to principals, teachers, parents, and the community connected with individual schools. Those decisions no longer made by the school district from top down.
Goals are set to improve outcomes for Gifted and Talented, At Risk, and Special Needs Students. The prior board did not set goals for these students.
THIS BOARD MAJORITY IS FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE
The previous board: spent down the Jeffco Public School reserve fund to alarming lows.
The current board majority: allocated monies back to the reserve fund for the next rainy day.
Then the current board: set aside $18,000,000 to pay for a new school in our high growth area without taking on more debt. They refused to take out a COP (Certificate of Participation) — a loan. Previous boards consistently chose to use COPs to build schools, without voter approval.
THE CURRENT BOARD MAJORITY WAS TOLD BY DISTRICT STAFF THAT THE FINANCIAL STANDING OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT WOULD PLUMMET WITH THE CHANGES THAT THE NEW BOARD MAJORITY WAS MAKING. — They were very wrong!!
Our school district received flying colors on the Colorado State Audit reaching all 5 benchmarks. Only 60% of Colorado schools reached that goal. The school board majority was right to pay teachers more, use money from the school district budget to pay cash for a new school, and equalize per pupil funding.
Colorado State Auditor report:
Office of Colorado State Auditor: