5/15/2020 – Re-Entry, State Budget, and YOUR voice

Make Your Voice Heard and Take Action to Support Our Futures

We know this isn’t the close of the school year you planned for. It certainly isn’t for us either. And yet here we are, facing the crisis of our generation and our children and our classrooms are directly in the heart of the fight.

We must elevate our collective voice and demonstrate our collective power to do everything possible to protect our students, schools and profession.

We are coming to you today with three ways to take action now to protect our futures:

  1. Survey on Re-Entry Plans: While the district has developed a draft plan for re-entry, no decisions have been made yet. JCEA, JESPA, JCAA and District management are working together in this process to prepare possible options for re-entry in the fall and we want to hear from you about what is most important in these discussions bit.ly/JCEA_reentry_2020. The District will distribute a more detailed draft on Monday with links for comment. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ AND COMMENT TO THE DISTRICT.
  2. Sign Letter to Legislators – We need to contact our state legislators – NOW. Over the last few days JCEA members have hosted half a dozen tele-town hall meetings and hundreds of you have contacted local legislators – we need thousands of you to join this effort. bit.ly/Dear_Jeffco_Reps  
  3. Sign up for the JCEA All Member Tele-town hall, where we will discuss our legislative strategy to generate revenue and protect school funding – invite every member you know to join us bit.ly/JCEA_town_hall_5_21. As Colorado faces more than a $3 Billion dollar budget deficit as a result of the COVID-19 crisis we must fight to keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible.

Can we move our elected officials from our homes?

JCEA Members and organizers with Rep. Lisa Cutter

Yes. This is one of the most powerful options. Over the last week, JCEA members joined forces with JESPA and FRUU members to host virtual town halls with many of our Jeffco legislators (Representatives Cutter, Titone, Kennedy, and Duran; and Senators Story, Pettersen, Danielson and Zenzinger).

Our purpose was to share stories about our schools, our lives and what would happen to our students should the legislature balance the budget on the backs of children yet again (remember that $8 BILLION dollar IOU they handed us during the economic crisis in 2008?).

Members shared powerful, moving stories of the challenges students and schools already face and the devastation that would be caused if handed more cuts.

We are fully aware that the COVID-19 crisis has sent our entire country into the greatest economic crisis we have ever faced and we believe that holding public education safe by keeping cuts away from the classroom and getting creative about generating revenue, is critical to our communities’ recovery from this pandemic.

In the end, all legislators who participated committed to doing everything in their power to not only minimize cuts to education, but find other sources of money.

We know that these Jeffco legislators are friends of education, but we also know that many of their colleagues under the dome are not. Though we are grateful to have their support and hard work, their work alone will not be enough to get these funding measures over the line. Educators across the state must put pressure on their legislators to do the right thing and fund education. Everyone under the dome must hear our voice loud and clear: our schools are starving and we will not stand by idly and watch the cornerstone of democracy be reduced to rubble.

Write our Jeffco legislators TODAY! bit.ly/Dear_Jeffco_Reps

JCEA & JESPA members and Organizers with Sen. Tammy Story and Rep. Chris Kennedy “As a group of educators with varying backgrounds, from schools all across the district, our stories all put the same thing first… OUR students. We are all in a state of fear about the reality we are facing with the state of education and how the budget cuts to education will affect the lives of our students. For many students school is their source of nutrition, their safe place, and the path towards a successful future. Through all of our stories we could see just how all of these things would be stripped from students- students who already have never experienced a fully funded education- and how much anxiety and fear that brings to educators.” – Sydney Slifka, Westgate Elementary