What happens to our 86,000 children?

Here’s a disturbing public comment from a Jeffco mom, SJK volunteer, and teacher in another district.


Think about the implications of this on our 86,000 children.  The best teachers are not wanting to be in Jeffco, are leaving Jeffco, and experienced teachers and education leaders are telling students going into teaching to avoid our schools because of the decisions being made by 3 board members!  What happens to OUR 86,000 children?   


Members of the Board-                                                                                                        5/7/2015


My name is Ali.  I am a parent of 2 kids [in Jeffco].


I am also an 8th grade science teacher for Adams County 12, so I am speaking to you as a veteran teacher from another district AND as a concerned parent.  Believe me, in Adams County we are watching what is happening in Jeffco very closely.  Our teachers are very informed.  In fact, there are more than 250 teachers in my district who are residents of Jeffco.


Do you understand that the greatest asset of a school district are its teachers?  Teachers are the lifeblood of the system.  New teachers need support, to be guided through this very difficult, and demanding job by the veteran teachers who know how to reach every student, know how to navigate through difficult situations proactively and productively, and know how to motivate, inspire, and get the most out of each student; the intangibles that cannot be measured.  When you fail to understand and support the important role the veteran teacher plays in educating the new teacher, the quality of our schools suffer. What is your plan for veteran teacher retention?


What incentive are you giving new teachers to stay?  Do you think that a 38K starting salary blinds them to how they are going to be treated in the future?  Do you honestly think they will want to stay in Jeffco and not be rewarded for any continuing education or advanced degrees they earn to improve their craft?  Who are you trying to attract?  Jeffco will become a training ground for all other districts who value their teachers! My school had an 8th grade science opening.  Out of 84 applicants, over 40% were Jeffco teachers, great candidates with great experiences!  Other school districts are benefiting from your trained teachers because you do not value them. 


Many teachers at my school have been running the salary calculator you posted this week.  What a joke!  NOBODY will be making more in Jeffco as a career teacher and what a slap in the face that the teachers that have been loyal to you through the past 5 years of cuts and freezes make thousands less than  an incoming teacher with the same credentials.  


Everyone is watching Jeffco right now.  We are telling our student teachers to apply anywhere but Jeffco or Dougco.  The preservice teachers I know at the Universities are having conversations with their education students about the Jeffco situation. 


You have a chance to show your teachers, your future teachers, and the Jeffco community that you ARE committed to recruiting the best and retaining your veteran teachers; which is what is best for all students.  This happens at the bargaining table.  Sit down with JCEA, look at the issues and get it right this time.  If you want to do what is best for all students, then table your agenda and your pride, and move forward by negotiating in good faith with your teachers.  Show this community that you want to be partners with-not adversaries of -our students, their teachers, and the Jeffco Community.


Sincerely- Ali Lasell