Monday Churn: ASSET bill dead

Updated 7:30 p.m. – The undocumented students tuition bill was killed this evening in the House Education Committee on a 7-6 vote, Republicans opposing and Democrats supporting.

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

Senate Bill 11-126, which would create a form of resident tuition for undocumented students who meet certain requirements, is scheduled for a hearing in the House Education Committee at 1:30 this afternoon.

After being held on the calendar for weeks, the bill passed the Democratic-controlled Senate on a 20-15 party line vote last week. While many observers give the ASSET little chance in the Republican-controlled House, sponsor Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, said Friday he remains hopeful he can pick up sufficient votes in House Ed, where Republicans have a 7-6 edge. Chair Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, often votes with Democrats.

Ahead of the committee hearing, two liberal research groups on Friday released a study that concluded undocumented immigrants in Colorado pay as much in taxes as they receive in public services. See the study by the Bell Policy Center and the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.

And the activist group Padres y Jovenes Unidos was mobilizing its supporters behind SB 11-126, urging them to call House Ed members and to rally at the Capitol this afternoon., a news service that covers issues in state legislatures around the nation, has an interesting backgrounder on immigration-related bills this year.

Also today, Denver Public Schools board members will meet in a work session that includes discussion of three new innovation school proposals, all in Far Northeast Denver – Denver Center for International Studies at Ford Elementary, Rachel B. Noel Arts Academy and Denver Center for International Studies at Montbello High. As part of the proposals, teachers would work “at-will” at the schools and would receive an additional $5,000 in compensation for the year. See this letter from district staff about the proposals.

The DPS board also is expected to discuss support for two initiatives filed by state Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, to raise taxes and increase funding for K-12 and higher education. And at their regular meeting on Thursday, the DPS will be asked to approve a tentative agreement with the teachers’ union over “mutual consent” hiring provisions in the educator effectiveness law, also known as Senate Bill 10-191.

What’s on tap:

See the week’s full legislative calendar here.


The Denver school board has a work session scheduled at 4:30 p.m. at 900 Grant St. Agenda.

The Boulder Valley school board meets at 1 p.m., kicking off a week of interviews with three superintendent finalists. Meetings are public. Details.


The Boulder Valley school board meets at 6 p.m. in the Education Center at 6500 East Arapahoe Road, Boulder. Agenda.


The University of Colorado Board of Regents hold a special meeting starting at 9 a.m. to discuss budget items. The meeting will be at St. Cajetan’s Center on the Auraria campus.

The State Board of Education meets starting at 3 p.m. for private interviews with the two commissioner candidates.

The St. Vrain board meets at 6:30 p.m. at Educational Services Center, 395 South Pratt Parkway, Longmont. More info.


Denver school board members meet at 5 p.m. at 900 Grant St. Agenda.

Jefferson County school board members meet at 5 p.m. for a work session at district headquarters, 1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg. 27, in Golden. Agenda.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Common core: A look at one of 100 New York City schools experimenting with the new curriculum standards. New York Times.

In case you missed it: Chester Finn is yawning about the State Board’s pick of finalists for the job of education commissioner. Flypaper blog. And the latest word in the Denver Post’s chronology of mayoral candidate James Mejia’s take on school reform in Far Northeast Denver.

What's Your Education Story?

As the 2018 school year begins, join us for storytelling from Indianapolis educators

PHOTO: Dylan Peers McCoy/Chalkbeat
Sarah TeKolste, right, and Lori Jenkins at a Teacher Story Slam, in April.

In partnership with Teachers Lounge Indy, Chalkbeat is hosting another teacher story slam this fall featuring educators from across the city.

Over the past couple of years, Chalkbeat has brought readers personal stories from teachers and students through the events. Some of our favorites touched on how a teacher won the trust of her most skeptical student, why another teacher decided to come out to his students, and one educator’s call to ramp up the number of students pursuing a college education.

The event, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, is free and open to the public — please RSVP here.

Event details:

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018
Tube Factory artspace
1125 Cruft St., Indianapolis, IN 46203
Get tickets here and find more on Facebook

More in What's Your Education Story?

School safety

Hiring more security officers in Memphis after school shootings could have unintended consequences

PHOTO: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Tennessee’s largest district, Shelby County Schools, is slated to add more school resource officers under the proposed budget for next school year.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson earmarked $2 million to hire 30 school resource officers in addition to the 98 already in some of its 150-plus schools. The school board is scheduled to vote on the budget Tuesday.

But an increase in law enforcement officers could have unintended consequences.

A new state law that bans local governments from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials could put school resource officers in an awkward position.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen recently reminded school personnel they are not obligated to release student information regarding immigration status. School resource officers employed by police or sheriff’s departments, however, do not answer to school districts. Shelby County Schools is still reviewing the law, but school board members have previously gone on the record emphasizing their commitment to protecting undocumented students.

“Right now we are just trying to get a better understanding of the law and the impact that it may have,” said Natalia Powers, a district spokeswoman.

Also, incidents of excessive force and racial bias toward black students have cropped up in recent years. Two white Memphis officers were fired in 2013 after hitting a black student and wrestling her to the ground because she was “yelling and cussing” on school grounds. And mothers of four elementary school students recently filed a lawsuit against a Murfreesboro officer who arrested them at school in 2016 for failing to break up a fight that occurred off-campus.

Just how common those incidents are in Memphis is unclear. In response to Chalkbeat’s query for the number and type of complaints in the last two school years, Shelby County Schools said it “does not have any documents responsive to this request.”

Currently, 38 school resource officers are sheriff’s deputies, and the rest are security officers hired by Shelby County Schools. The officers respond and work to prevent criminal activity in all high schools and middle schools, Hopson said. The 30 additional officers would augment staffing at some schools and for the first time, branch out to some elementary schools. Hopson said those decisions will be based on crime rates in surrounding neighborhoods and school incidents.

Hopson’s initial recommendation for more school resource officers was in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and sparked a wave of student activism on school safety, including in Memphis.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s recent $30 million budget boost would allow school districts across Tennessee to hire more law enforcement officers or improve building security. Measures to arm some teachers with guns or outlaw certain types of guns have fallen flat.

For more on the role and history of school resource officers in Tennessee, read our five things to know.

Sheriff’s deputies and district security officers meet weekly, said Capt. Dallas Lavergne of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. When the Memphis Police Department pulled their officers out of school buildings following the merger of city and county school systems, the county Sheriff’s Office replaced them with deputies.

All deputy recruits go through school resource officer training, and those who are assigned to schools get additional annual training. In a 2013 review of police academies across the nation, Tennessee was cited as the only state that had specific training for officers deployed to schools.