Looks like the Denver Post did a “fact check” on the recall campaign. Even though the Denver Post hasn’t paid much attention to the events surrounding the Jeffco School Board Majority and they don’t send reporters to our meetings. Though they do seem to have all sorts of editorials and opinions about what should happen to our kids and whether or not we, as the community, should be allowed to have a recall. A bit from their article below:
“Has the board funded free full-day kindergarten?”
“In June, the board instead started student-based budgeting…”
Interestingly, the Denver Post doesn’t point out that SBB was actually started by the previous administration in Jeffco Schools and this Board actually had nothing to do with it – Mr. McMinimee specifically pointed out in meetings with stakeholders that SBB was started by Dr. Cindy Stevenson. SBB is certainly NOT being implemented the way it was originally planned.
At last Thursday night’s Board of Education Meeting, Terry Elliott, the Chief Effectiveness Officer for Jeffco Public Schools pointed out that the number of free full day kindergarten classes offered at schools is actually down to 32 schools this year from 40 the previous year.
That’s called a reduction.
All schools waive tuition for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch or have special educational needs if the families choose to enroll their children but again, this has always been done, not something new that this Board Majority created. But the Denver Post didn’t bother to point out that fact.
“Did the board hire an attorney in secret, and at what price?”
Here’s what the Denver Post had to say about it:
“In December 2013, the three board majority voted to hire an attorney to represent the board.”
The Denver Post completely missed the article that appeared in the Reporter Herald in Thompson that acknowledged that the attorney Brad Miller had been hired for Jeffco prior to it ever appearing on an agenda. How did those Board Members in Thompson know about this prior to two board members in Jeffco and prior to anyone in the public knowing about this?
“The vote was held in public during a regular board meeting — as required by state law — but the board members privately sought out the attorney, rather than conduct the search in public.”
Again, a bit of a stretch by the Denver Post. Three board members who KNEW about the hire conducted the search in private. The entire board wasn’t given the advance notice. One of the two attorneys mentioned wasn’t even in the United States at the time this Board Majority was supposed to have been interviewing the supposed candidates.
Additionally, the Denver Post failed to mention that the attorney was hired without a scope of work, without reviewing a contract, without any sort of job description, without knowledge of the term of contract, without discussion or knowledge of the amount of the contract, and without a resume of experience from the attorney. That’s about as transparent as the redacted invoices that were provided upon CORA requests:
“The law is less specific as to the requirements to hold interviews in public, but, in the opinion of at least one attorney, a judge could find the board violated the law.”
Yes, a judge – lots of judges, in fact – could find the board majority violated the law. In fact, they can also find that the Board Majority violated their own policies:
Board Policies GP-01, GP-02, GP-04, GP-05, GP-07, GP-08, GP-09, GP-11, GP-12, GP-14, GP-17, BSL-01, BSL-02, and BSL-03; and District Policies AC, BBBA, BDG, BE, BEDH, CC, DIF, GBAA, GBC, HA, HC, HH, IGA, JBC, JI, KD, KDA, and KDB.
But the penalty is that they are to censure themselves! We called on them to do it, but they ignored our call!
One last thing that the Denver Post failed to check and report on:
Is the Union behind the Recall?
Two moms and one dad filed to Recall Ken Witt, Recall John Newkirk, and Recall Julie Williams. More than 1100 individuals from our community carried petitions. Moms, dads, grandparents, community members, retired teachers, retired administrators, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, and some current staff as well have joined in. The “union” hasn’t led, hasn’t organized, hasn’t asked it’s members to help as of this date. We certainly hope that they will ask their members to join us.
Seems strange that anyone who opposes this Board Majority is tagged with a union thug label. For the record, my daughter’s teachers are members of their association, and most parents take great offense to these amazing individuals being talked down to or treated as if they are anything but individuals who care about our children and collaborate with us in their efforts to serve and educate.
For anyone wanting to read the full Denver Post article, here you go: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28758674/jeffco-school-board-recall-fact-check
If you’d rather spend your time making a difference, print out some handouts and pass them along to your friends, family and neighbors:
OR you can sign-up to volunteer with us to talk to more people who care about Jeffco Kids! http://jeffcounited.org/walks/
OR you can write your own Letter to the Editor of the Denver Post at firstname.lastname@example.org – ask them why they don’t provide adequate coverage of news in the largest school district in Colorado or why their stories are so skewed when the quality of the work they do impacts our children.