Colorado

Tuesday Churn: Mayor’s endorsement

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday endorsed former Denver City Council president Happy Haynes in her at-large, citywide race for the Denver school board.

Hancock also will be endorsing in the other two races on the Nov. 1 ballot, according to mayoral spokeswoman Amber Miller.

“Throughout my campaign for Mayor of this great city, I heard time and again that residents and businesses want our schools to improve,” Hancock said in a written statement. “As the parents of two DPS students, Mary Louise and I want that too. Electing Happy Haynes is a step in the right direction.”

Haynes, until May, served as the chief community engagement officer for DPS. She now is director of civic and community engagement for CRL Associates, Inc.

There are five candidates for the at-large, citywide seat to be vacated later this year by the term-limited Theresa Pena. They are John Daniel, Frank Deserino, Haynes, Roger Kilgore and Jacqui Shumway.

Meanwhile, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association is expected to release endorsements today. Check EdNews later today for that story.

The Education Leadership Council created by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Jan. 11 holds its first meeting today following announcement of its 38 members on Sept. 1.

Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, the administration’s lead person on education, are expected to lay out the group’s assignments during the session.

The administration so far has outlined three broad education goals – implementing existing reform programs such as the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids and the educator effectiveness law, improving third-grade literacy and reducing the college remediation rate.

Garcia has said repeatedly that the council will be concerned with education from early childhood to higher education.

The council has been compared to the P-20 Education Coordinating Council that advised former Gov. Bill Ritter. The council’s work led in part to the 2008 Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids.

Ritter’s group was more weighted toward mid-level educators, while the Hickenlooper council is packed with big names, including education Commissioner Robert Hammond, Colorado Commission on Higher Education chairman Hereford Percy, Jane Goff from the State Board of Education, legislative education committee chairs Bob Bacon and Tom Massey plus state Sen. Mike Johnston of Denver, DPS board member Nate Easley, superintendents Mike Miles of Harrison and John Barry of Aurora, community college chief Nancy McCallin, CU President Bruce Benson, CSU Chancellor Joe Blake, former DU head Dan Ritchie and Metro President Steve Jordan. See full list here.

Today’s big news event is expected to be the release of the quarterly revenue forecasts. Details in the Monday Churn.

Colorado isn’t alone in its budget woes, of course. A new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures finds that state lawmakers across the nation have faced budget gaps totaling $510.5 billion over the last four years. The report notes that the revenue situation is stabilizing nationwide but that growth will continue to be slow in 2012-13.

What’s on tap:

The Legislative Task Force to Study School Discipline meets from 8:30 a.m. to noon to discuss potential bills for the 2012 legislative session. Expect to see proposals designed to reduce the use of suspensions, expulsions and police referrals. The meeting’s in room 0112 of the Capitol. Agenda

The JBC will receive the quarterly revenue forecasts at 9 a.m. in the Legislative Services Building, 200 E. 14th Ave.

The Education Leadership Council meets starting at 1 p.m. at the Carriage House of the Governor’s Mansion.

The Aurora school board meets at 7 p.m. at the Educational Services Center, 1085 Peoria St. The agenda includes a vote on a resolution in support of Proposition 103, the statewide ballot initiative to raise state income and sales taxes through 2017 to boost education funding.

 The Boulder Valley board will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. at 6500 Arapahoe Road, Boulder. The sole agenda item is the District Accountability Committee’s discussion of their work in 2011-12.

The Douglas County board convenes at 7:05 p.m. at district headquarters, 620 Wilcox St. in Castle Rock. The agenda includes a proposal to shift the district’s open enrollment window from Nov. 15-Jan. 15 to Nov. 1-Jan. 5.

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.