Monday Churn: Campus boom

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

The number of new Colorado students enrolling at state colleges and universities could grow 40,000, nearly 21 percent, by 2021.

The estimate was given to the Colorado Commission of Higher Education Friday, based on research done by a national consulting firm, Noel-Levitz.

But that “natural” growth won’t fulfill the state goal of doubling the number of degrees and certificates awarded by 2020, consultant Scott Bodfish told the commission. State institutions granted about 47,000 degrees and certificates last year.

The growth will show a shift in the kinds of students, with greater growth in adult undergraduates over age 25 and in Hispanic students, Bodfish said. The report predicts 80 percent of the growth will come from Front Range counties.

Current enrollment at the 28 state institutions is about 258,000, including resident and out-of-state students.

The state Charter School Institute has issued its 2012 call for applications from groups that want to open new schools for 2013-14.

Applicants should submit initial letters of intent by May 30, and full applications are due Aug. 22. Get more information here.

What’s on tap:


The Denver Public Schools board finance and audit committee meets at 4:30 p.m. at district offices, 900 Grant St.


It’s the final day of the 2012 regular legislative session.

The State Board of Education meets at 9 a.m. in the boardroom at 201 E. Colfax Ave. Among agenda items are release of the 2012 third grade TCAP reading scores. Agenda

The St. Vrain Valley board is scheduled to meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Educational Services Center, 395 South Pratt Parkway in Longmont.


University of Colorado Boulder graduation ceremonies will start at 8:30 a.m. at Folsom Field. Details

Good reads from elsewhere:

Researchers defend Common Core: A new study concludes that the Common Core Standards for match are consistent with those in high-achieving nations and could improve student learning if appropriately implemented. EdWeek has the details.

Grading schools: A new Arizona A-F school rating system is intended to prod schools to help lagging students improve, so a school with a high percentage of students passing state tests could still bet a B or C if the bottom 25 percent of students don’t improve enough. See this story from the Arizona Republic.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at

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.