Every day, I wake up hopeful because I am able to work with people who are dedicated to serving the youth and families of Denver Public Schools. DPS has been my home away from home all of my life and I am so grateful to be working with all of you.
As I step into the role of superintendent, I am committed to our vision: Every Child Succeeds. Our students’ success is at the forefront of each decision I make and I propose three priorities that will propel our district forward. To make sure each and every one of our students thrives, we need to focus on three areas:
- Equity: Our schools are places where every student is affirmed for who they are while being nurtured to excel.
- Instructional Excellence: Our schools are places where every student receives high-quality instruction every day. This means we need to deliver the highest quality supports to our teachers and leaders as they work day in and day out with our students.
- Community Engagement and Collaborative Teamwork: Our schools are the center of our communities, and we must work hand in hand with our families and community members. We must build strong teams to help design solutions for our most persistent problems.
This calls for increased investment in schools and, in particular, in our teachers who are critical to the instructional core and we must continue to invest more into recruiting, developing and retaining our teachers and specialized service providers (SSPs). That is why DPS is currently in conversations with our teachers’ union, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), to reach an agreement on an improved compensation system for our teachers and SSPs. As part of these negotiations, DPS has proposed an average 10% increase in base pay for our teachers and SSPs. This will require shifting resources to schools from central office, resulting in significant cuts to our central teams. We have committed to reinvest $7 million from our central administrative cuts into educator compensation.
We are working through the implications of the cuts right now while simultaneously participating in negotiations and preparing contingency plans in the event that we don’t reach an agreement with the DCTA. As soon as I have more concrete information, we will be sharing it. Please check greatteachers.dpsk12.org for more information on our negotiations.