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DPS Announces Additional Investments in Supporting Schools

Feb. 24, 2022

DENVER – During the present school year, DPS schools have received $16 million in federal COVID-relief (ESSER) funds that school leaders are able to determine the best way to spend. Denver Public Schools also provided $3 million during 2021-22 fall adjustment, to prevent layoffs due to enrollment decline. Next school year, schools will receive $10.5 million in ESSER funds, along with around $6.5 million to help keep schools fully staffed.

The nationwide staffing shortage continues to impact the school district’s ability to fill a variety of positions. These include nurses, bus drivers, food service workers, paraprofessionals, teachers and substitute teachers. DPS is committed to addressing these shortages and looking at all options including the use of ESSER funding to attract and retain critical staff members

Despite the challenges over the past two years, staff-retention rates throughout Denver Public Schools have been very stable, including in the classrooms. The district’s overall teacher-retention rate has remained at around 90% for the past three school years.

DPS Central Office staff members have played a key role in keeping schools open during the staffing crisis. More than 400 members of the DPS Central Support Team have worked in schools one day a week to help support students, teachers and school leaders. Because of these efforts, Denver Public Schools has limited the number of instances where schools had to switch to remote learning as the Denver community dealt with the spike in Omicron cases.

“We will continue to look for ways to support our students, families and educators,” DPS Superintendent Dr. Alex Maerrero said, “so that all members of Team DPS can continue to work together to lift up our scholars.