In his new investigative piece “Union Time on the Taxpayer Dime,” New Mexico Watchdog reporter James Scarantino included quotes and insights from senior education policy analyst Ben DeGrow concerning Education Policy Center research on tax-funded teachers union release time in Colorado:
…Districts provide paid union leave either through specified employee salaries or through a pool of hours made available to the union to assign and use as it chooses. In the Jefferson County School District, Colorado’s largest, the union is given 275 days a year it may allocate in its discretion. The school district then must pay a substitute teacher to fill the opening caused by a unionized teacher being absent from work to do union business.
In 2010, DeGrow says his organization documented teachers on paid leave lobbying the legislature in connection with a bill concerning teacher evaluations.
For more information, read the opinion-editorial “Teachers Lobbying on Taxpayer Time Needs to be Addressed,” as well as the earlier issue papers Take Public Funds Off the Negotiating Table (2004) and Colorado Schools and Association Release Time (2010).