Rise & Shine: Advocates call for change following death of 7-year-old who stopped showing up for school

Good morning.

The school district and the teachers union in Denver return to the negotiating table tomorrow to try to come to an agreement on teacher pay. The stakes are high: The union has said it will hold a strike vote if an agreement can't be reached by Jan. 18.

The union is pushing the district to invest a lot more money into teacher salaries. The district has offered another $17 million, a portion of which would come from cutting district administration. New Superintendent Susana Cordova has said she's committed to "right-sizing" the district's central office, where many administrators work.

In today's newsletter, Chalkbeat crunches the numbers. Data show the Denver district is top-heavy with administrators compared to statewide averages — and that the gap between Denver and the statewide average has gotten bigger over time.

— Melanie Asmar, reporter

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.

TOP HEAVY In the 2016-17 school year, a Chalkbeat analysis found Denver had one administrator for every 7.5 instructional staff members, a category that includes teachers, librarians, nurses, and others. The statewide average was one administrator for every 11.3 instructional staff members. Chalkbeat

BULLYING Students living in areas that voted for President Trump faced more bullying after the 2016 election, according to new research released Wednesday. Chalkbeat

CALL FOR CHANGE Caden McWilliams’ body lay hidden in a storage unit for as long as seven months, and no one was looking for him. The fact no one reported the 7-year-old missing has prompted child advocates to call for a system of follow-up when a child who has been the subject of an abuse or neglect investigation stops showing up or is abruptly removed from school. Colorado Sun

BACK TO YOU In a win for the space-focused charter school, the Colorado State Board of Education on Wednesday forced the Cherry Creek School District to reconsider its rebuffed application for Colorado Skies Academy. Aurora Sentinel

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY Teachers at three middle schools will pilot two different math programs for one week each as Thompson School District officials decide what new curriculum to buy with new tax money. Loveland Reporter-Herald

FREE TRAINING The Colorado School of Mines and the Colorado Department of Education are offering free computer science workshops to the state’s kindergarten through fifth-grade teachers. 9News

ARRESTED A 25-year-old student at a Lakewood adult high school was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of a gun on school grounds. Fox31, 9News