In a story highlighting contentious negotiations in the Adams 12 school district, The Colorado Observer‘s Sunana Batra cites an Education Policy Center expert about the teachers union leadership’s strategy to resist local reforms:
Critics believe the Colorado Education Association (CEA), of which the DTEA is a local affiliate, may be attempting to fight a pitched battle in Adams County to dissuade other cash-strapped school districts who may be considering the option of asking teachers to share the burden of shoring up their pension obligations.
“Union leaders recognize 2013 as a critical juncture for their ability to block or weaken needed changes to K-12 education in Colorado. They have their eyes fixed on the bold transformation in Douglas County, and the responsible PERA reforms in Adams 12,” said Ben DeGrow, a Senior Education Policy Analyst for the non-partisan Independence Institute. “The longer those two school boards continue on their respective courses, the stronger the unmistakable signal that other boards can successfully challenge union power.” [emphasis added]
The local District Twelve Educators Association has refused a request to hold negotiations in public view, as the two sides consider a number of topics–including tax-funded release time for union officers. To learn more, listen to a recent podcast conversation with Adams 12 school board member Norm Jennings.