Colorado

Thursday Churn: Regents decide tuition

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

Updated 1:20 p.m. – The University of Colorado Board of Regents this afternoon approved 2012-13 tuition rates that are lower than those recommended by system administrators but which are made possible by reducing the amount of money available for faculty and administration merit pay.

The administration had proposed two options for each CU campus. The regents chose the lower set of increases and then trimmed them further with the money saved from the merit pay pool.

Here are the increases under the compromise plan:

  • Boulder – 5 percent increase for resident undergraduate students instead of the 6.7 percent suggested in the administration’s plan.
  • Denver – A .8 percent increase in the cost per credit hour, instead of 1.9 percent. The actual percentage increase will be higher for some students because the requirement for full-time status is being raised to 15 from 13 credit hours.
  • Colorado Springs – 4.9 percent increase instead of 5.8 percent.

The administration had suggested that an amount equal to 3 percent of total staff compensation be used for faculty and other merit raises. The regents cut that back to 2 percent.

Tuition has been a contentious topic for the regents ever since early administration proposals at the start of the year suggested double-digit increases in some cases (see story). Some regents also were unhappy with raises for a number of top administrators last year.

Going into today’s meeting, the administration had suggested the regents approve the higher of the two sets of increases. Those larger hikes were: Boulder, 8.6 percent; Denver 9.4 percent; Colorado Springs 7 percent.

Denver’s teachers union has scheduled a rally at 5 p.m. today before the district’s monthly school board meeting. Henry Roman, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, described the event as “a spirit rally, just as you would see in our schools.”

“It’s an opportunity for our teachers to come together and have their voices heard on important issues we face as we begin working with the district on a new teacher contract,” Roman said in a news release.

Roman said the DCTA is seeking to undo recent pay freezes and wants more teacher input in their evaluations. He also said the union will collaborate with the district on proposed reforms, such as extended learning opportunities.

Laura Wilson, principal of Redstone Elementary School in Douglas County, has been named 2012 Colorado National Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Executives.

Under her leadership, Redstone has achieved a 17 percent improvement in student CSAP scores over the past year and will receive the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award this year. Wilson will be honored, along with other state winners, in Washington, D.C., this fall.

You might want to get your tickets now for Sal Khan’s visit to Denver in May. Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, will speak from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the Magness Arena in the Ritchie Center at the University of Denver. Event info.

If you haven’t heard, Khan is the Louisiana native born to immigrant parents who went on to earn three degrees from M.I.T. In 2004, he started tutoring his young cousin in algebra via the internet and, at the urging of others, began placing his lessons on YouTube in 2006. His lessons proved so popular – imagine 20,000 hits for algebra videos – that Khan quit his job as a hedge fund manager in 2009 to work on the Khan Academy full-time.

Khan has been featured on a number of national news outlets and, most recently, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who says he uses Khan Academy for his own kids, wrote the Time profile on Khan.

What’s on tap:

The DPS board has a regular meeting at 5 p.m. and a public comment session at 6:30 p.m. at 900 Grant St. The agenda includes an update on the district’s pension financing and a vote on a charter contract for Monarch Montessori, the school DPS board members initially denied but State Board of Education members returned to them for further consideration.

A good read from elsewhere:

For-profit regulation: Colorado isn’t the only state looking to update its laws on regulation of for-profit colleges. Stateline.org takes a look at the landscape in several other states. Colorado’s regulation legislation, Senate Bill 12-164, is pending in the Senate.

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 [email protected]

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.