A teacher in Douglas County, Colorado, reports that the school board and superintendent are determined to wreck the public school system for which they are responsible.

The teacher writes:

I can’t begin to tell you how your sharing the information about the LA school district victory for kids is boosting the morale of fighters for public education in Douglas County, Colorado. We’re in a fight for our public school life here too. The school board elections in November will determine the future of our public schools.

The school board was elected, partly in 2009 and partly in 2011, by money from sources outside of the district and heavily connected with the GOP and ties to ALEC. The purpose seems to be to conduct a corporate experiment to on an affluent, not broken, school district south of Denver.

The school board in turn has proudly broken all ties with the union. While the union still exists there is no collaborative, working relationship, or no collective bargaining agreement between the district and the union. And it seems that every time someone disagrees with them, these opponents are called “union thugs.” If this weren’t so serious, their tactics would look downright silly. At the last board meeting, the BOE supporters dressed up as Grinches in their interpretation of the union, and passed out inaccurate pamphlets about the union.

The school board hired a corporate reform superintendent in 2010. Some of her first contacts with the community involved traveling to community public schools to praise the charter school movement and the important of choice. If you want to listen to her speak, contact the Milton Friedman Foundation. http://www.edchoice.org/Foundation-Services/Speakers/Elizabeth-Celania-Fagen.aspx

The school board has also forced a voucher program currently tied up in litigation thanks to the group, Taxpayers for Public Education- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Taxpayers-for-Public-Education/165645363470905?fref=ts. The lawsuit is on its way to the Colorado Supreme Court. The community voted down funding for merit pay, but they have still spent the money from elsewhere to implement a merit pay program that is basically behavior modification for teachers. And they are extremely proud of the fact that they have reduced the teachers’ salary in this district. Polls show teacher morale at an all time low.

More about the voucher program. The right wing of our Republican party is now going after the head of our public libraries for his participation in supporting the lawsuit. http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/castlerock/news/douglas-county-commissioners-push-for-library-changes/article_11d11136-850d-11e2-9323-001a4bcf887a.html

And now they are moving on with a new era in charter school relations. http://www.9news.com/news/article/321642/222/Douglas-County-Schools-signs-unique-charter-school-deal?fb_action_ids=10200721010176750&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_ref=artsharetop&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B499626156739696%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.recommends%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%22artsharetop%22%5D

They have an $83 million reserve while students sit in unheated classrooms; parents have to pay for student busing, among other things a free public education is supposed to provide. http://strongschoolscoalition.org/dougco-finances-crystal-ball/

And just like the LA elections, the corporate reformers are continuing to spend money on commercials, and the Republic party headquarters here has no qualms about spending over $1 million on November’s elections. The air here is thick with propaganda.

But just like LA, and so many other areas in this country, we have a brilliant and dedicated community that wants its public schools back. Here are just a few of the very information blogs and organizations created by our communities. http://douglascountyparent.com/ and http://strongschoolscoalition.org/ While we don’t have their money, we can only hope that the truth will also prevail here in Douglas County.