Board Will Not Extend Teacher Contract

Witt:  not “being Douglas County” – but doing what they did.

Yesterday, the Columbine Courier reported that “The Jeffco school board will not extend the current agreement between the teachers union and Jeffco Public Schools.”  In their article, School board won’t extend teachers’ contract (behind paywall), the Courier reported that the Board has turned down an offer by the JCEA to 2018 or 2019 while agreeing to open the entire contract to negotiations next year.

The Board had Amy Weber, the Director of Human Resources, read a statement that said, “Given new board members and a soon-to-be-hired superintendent, we think it is in the best interest of Jeffco … to maintain a contract expiration date of 2015“.  When asked by JCEA Executive Director, Lisa Elliot, why, Weber responded, ““Because if there’s no … end date, then there’s no opportunity to navigate through a successful successor agreement (after the contract expires)

Huh?  In their offer, the JCEA had agreed to open the contract to renegotiations next year, which would give both sides the chance to successfully ‘navigate‘ a new contract.

This stance has sent chills down the spines of not only JCEA members, but also parents and concerned citizens who are aware of the machinations that went on down in Douglas County.

Witt told the Denver Post that WNW had no intention of “being Douglas County.”  Maybe he meant that Jefferson County has more and different letters in its’ name.  Because WNW’s behavior is right out of the Douglas County playbook.

13 thoughts on “Board Will Not Extend Teacher Contract

  1. In the Denver Post article, Carroll: Jeffco school board president Ken Witt – without horns, Witt was interviewed by Vincent Carroll. Per the article: “Has Witt ever hinted at decertifying the union or held it as a goal? ‘Oh, certainly not,’ he said. ‘I think it is important that we work with the organizations that teachers are part of … so I’m happy to work with our association.'”

    I checked with the author, and Witt made the quoted statements directly to Mr. Carroll.

    • But apparently not happy enough to agree to a simple extension while continuing to negotiate.

      We think the focus should be less on what WNW says and a lot more on what WNW does.

      • I totally agree – just pointing out how his words & actions are so diametrically opposed. I was going to make some commentary to go along with the quoted passage, but I thought I’d just let the facts speak for themselves. Integrity? Transparency? School district governance? What’s best for the kids? Not sure what their agenda is, but it’s none of those things. The myriad issues make it difficult to know where to start to try to make some changes. And it probably keeps many people from getting involved – it seems overwhelming.

  2. They’re not refusing to extend a contract with the Union–they’re refusing to extend the contract with teachers. The very language here creates a separation that isn’t real. The Union isn’t independent from teachers because it is made, whole cloth, of and by teachers.

    • First of all, the wording in the articles’ title is the work of the Columbine Courier, not ours.

      Secondly, by that logic, then a corporation is not really separate from its’ shareholders. Because a corporation is also ‘made, whole cloth, of and by‘ its’ shareholders. Therefore a contract with Xcel Energy is not really with Xcel Energy but with each of Xcel Energys’ shareholders?

      Finally, you are splitting hairs. The point is this: After stating that Jefferson County Schools will not turn into a Douglas County Schools, WNW is following the Douglas County game plan, point-by-point.

      The teachers

  3. First of all, there is no teachers’ union; it is an association. Second, while many of us are sad that Dr. Stevenson is gone, isn’t it true that a new superintendent should be permitted to make decisions with respect to the new contract? How can we guarantee that the association will indeed reopen the contract next year, any more than WNW will bring us down the road of Douglas County?

    • No, it is not true that everything should wait on a new Superintendent…unless you are wanting to make radical changes. The liklihood of JCEA following through on their promise seems to be far greater than WNW’s to make no radical change, especially since their decisions have grown more and more radical. Consider:

      1) Hiring an Attorney (Brad Miller) to represent only the Board (check out the letter of agreement here.) for $90,000 per year.
      2) Refusing to fill a senior staff position, Director of Employee Relations.
      3) Trying to stop a STEM school expansion.
      4) Extended $700,000 in loans to financially ailing charter schools with no additional oversight or controls.
      5) Forced out a nationally ranked and respected Superintendent at a cost of almost $250,000 to the District.
      6) Has taken direct management control of the District (by not appointing an interim Superintendent) contrary to the Boards’ charter and own policies.
      7) Has positioned themselves to pass on the employers portion of PERA (the State’s replacement for Social Security) to the employees.
      8) Has moved to break the promise made to taxpayers on how the 3A/3B Mill Levy Override will be spent.
      9) Held the public discussion session of a controversial legal decision at the last minute, in a small, hard to get to restaurant.
      10) Ignored the advice of the District’s legal counsel and primary asset advisory group on whether or not to appeal an adverse decision.

      Perhaps all of the above were simply misunderstandings and WNW will turn over a new leaf starting today. On the other hand, as an old saying goes, ‘when you hear hoof-beats, think horses, not zebras.’

    • It seems to me that simply extending the contract by just one year would be a good faith effort on their part. The problem here is that they have not done one actual thing to show that they are NOT Dougo. I think that they are so arrogant that they think they can talk their way around us and we’ll have no clue. They might think they’re Lucy, but I’m no Charlie Brown. Also @ Wendy M- I heard you speak at Golden HS and I have to say you were mighty impressive.

    • The Education Policy Center is part of the Libertarian Independence Institute, whose Mission Statement says in part: “We are more than a think tank. We are an ‘action tank.’ We put our ideas into action through groundbreaking litigation, activist training, work on ballot initiatives….”

      An HTML version of the same document can be found here:

  4. Has anybody noticed that Ray and Associates was hired to search for a new superintendent in Wisconsin where the governor is strongly opposed to unions? Coincidence? No I don’t think so.Anybody know of John Perry’s resignation? He reviewed all charter school applications and no replacement has been hired. Yet Cornerstones conditional approval is on the agenda. Coincidence?

  5. I attended the one of the staff meetings regarding the superintendent search. I believe that the search company is looking in good faith. I also believe the board will reject all of the candidates the company comes up with that would actually meet the needs of teachers, parents, community
    ; that they already have one in mind but legally couldn’t hire the person without going through the motions of a search.

  6. John Peery has been replaced temporarily with Lloyd Carlton- former charter principal in Jeffco. John’s job is currently being advertised.

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