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Community Perspectives

We remain hopeful that DPS and the teachers’ union will be able to reach an agreement for our teachers and special service providers. A strike should only be used as a last resort — and with a strong offer still on the table, there’s every reason for us to continue negotiating and avoid putting students and families in the middle of a difficult situation.

As we continue this process, we want to share with you some of the messages we’ve heard from members of the Denver community, encouraging us to maintain the High Poverty Incentive and to avoid the damaging effects of a strike on our students and families.

“Though implementation has been imperfect, ProComp’s goal of providing higher salaries to teachers who work in schools with high percentages of low-income students —with the goal of promoting the recruitment and retention of quality teachers—should remain the north star…We are concerned that a redistribution of ProComp funding into base teacher salary will shift resources from schools in high-need communities to those in more affluent neighborhoods where there are already far greater resources. Such a policy change would heighten inequalities in a school district where there are already enormous and persistent achievement gaps.”

Protect Teacher Incentive Pay: Community support for performance pay in Denver’s high-needs public schools — a letter signed by:

  • Papa Dia, Executive Director, African Leadership Group

  • Dr. Jeriod D. Patterson, Delta Psi Lambda Chapter President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • Mike Cortés, PhD, Executive Director, Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy & Research Coalition
  • Bishop Jerry Demmer, Chair, Board of Directors, FaithBridge
  • Nicholas Martinez, Co-Founder, Transform Education Now
 
  • Ariel Smith, Co-Founder, Transform Education Now

“Denver Superintendent Susana Cordova has proposed an innovative new salary schedule that combines traditional steps and lanes with the historic (voter approved) professional compensation system that provides bonuses to teachers who are in the most difficult-to-fill positions. Her proposal intuitively makes sense to us and could bring much-needed stability to teacher salaries. After talking to both sides, we think these negotiations have gotten so close that it’d be a shame for the end result to be a strike.”

Denver Post Editorial Board: Gov. Jared Polis should have stalled the Denver teachers’ strike, February 7, 2019

“…the question of incentives is critical to the well-being of Denver’s most vulnerable students and schools. In a district with some of the nation’s largest disparities in academic outcomes along lines of race, ethnicity, and family income, prioritizing these students is imperative.”

A+ Colorado: A+ Colorado Strongly Supports Far Larger Incentives For Teachers, January 29, 2019