School Closures and Reaction to Cuts

Another share from an advocate who Supports Jeffco Kids (Jim Earley) following the Board meeting last Thursday night:


I got home last night around 11:30 and couldn’t sleep (after attending the Jeffco school board study session).   
The board looked like they were gobsmacked by the recommendations last night.  Our outgoing superintendent McMinimee provided no guidance or leadership to help the board make timely decisions. Why didn’t he begin warning the board and the community earlier? For two-and-a-half months, he said and did nothing. So here we are.  The board is caught in the middle without any good alternatives.  The timelines are short.  It will be virtually impossible for board members to meet with their communities to get input and distill it into a coherent message.  Vote for the closures, and they anger their constituents; vote against, and we potentially start seeing increased teacher attrition in a “buyer-friendly” labor market where Boulder, Cherry Creek, Littleton, and others will be the winners. 

For the average voter, school funding in Colorado is a mystery.  For most, even TABOR and Gallagher are hard to grasp.  I honestly would love to find a way to put together a “Colorado School Funding for Dummies” guide that cuts through the nonsense, shows how teachers are underpaid, and somehow shuts down the naysayers and public education detractors (we all know who they are), who continue to flood social media with their alternative facts about what the situation really is – it’s no wonder why voters say they’re confused.
Pardon my rambling and ranting. Last night was a kick in the gut:  We cut 5 (!!!) schools, countless reading interventionists, GT teachers, other social-emotional learning staff, and added a financially risky charter (before it could be forced on us by the state board with little to no say about the terms).  I’m having a hard time reconciling that bit of cognitive dissonance. 
Today we lick our wounds, tomorrow we continue to push the rock up the hill.