Category Archives: Uncategorized

Denver Teacher’s will Strike – why DPS won’t pay teachers

In the days preceding a likely teachers strike from the teachers in Denver Public Schools, leaked payroll data has shattered the district’s claims.

The school district has long faced criticism that it spends too much on administration and not enough on teaching kids. An analysis of the payroll data buttresses that argument strongly.

Close to $6 million are spent on payroll for district’s top leadership, aphoristically called the Superintendent’s cabinet. Those 46 personnel lack clear roles in the minds of many.

It’s not just top brass in question.  When Boasberg’s first communications director Mike Vaughn met with the North Denver News in early 2008, there were only three people handling press relations for the district. There are now eleven–making $700,000 a year. The full communications shop numbers thirty-seven, with a payroll of nearly $2 million.

The District’s scandals and legal problems are run through a group of six lawyers, staffed up at a cost of $700,000.

Denver Public Schools spent $7 million in 2017 on “Analysts”; $1 million on “Assessment Coordinator” positions with another $288,000 going to data assessment partners; $1.5 million on a series of associate directors of instruction and operations; $8 million on Curriculum Coordinators, whose salaries average out to $72,000 each; $9.5 million on “Coordinators”; and $5.56 million on people classified as Executive Management.

With $50 million going to people who do not have contact with students, the data belies the district’s branding of “Students First” and “Team DPS.”

Approximately 5% of student dollars goes to “Central Office,” according to school budgets from FY2017. Five percent of the district billion dollar budget equals some $46,000,000, which could pay for 700 more teachers, or a raise for existing teachers in a district where teacher turnover is high and teachers are ready to strike over their compensation.

While district leadership is arguing poverty against a potential strike, that $50 million overhead comes at the cost of having enough teachers for classrooms, compensating teachers fairly, and having enough support staff for every building.

read more:

Rafael Espinoza -The ghost of Shepherd again looms in Denver as David Sabados runs for City Council

Dave has worked projects from neighborhood institution board to presidential races and also quite a few in between. Whether it’s helping a city council prospect comprehend the ballot demographics of their area to working with lots of staff on a statewide federal campaign, every race includes it’s own specific obstacles as well as goals.

Along with campaign experience, Dave holds a Master’s Degree in English and Bachelor’s levels in Philosophy as well as English. His graduate work concentrated on Presidential rhetoric in the tv age.

When not marketing, Dave can generally be located climbing up a 14er, winter sports, or exploring Colorado alleyways on a motorbike.

David Sabados is a long time community protestor and modern leader concentrated on affordable housing, renters’ legal rights, as well as transport remedies. David has actually dealt with not-for-profit companies, prospects as well as elected officials, and progressive organizations that seek to encourage working family members.

A tenant in the Sunnyside area, David will certainly bring a needed voice to our city council.

David Sabados is a long time neighborhood protestor

and also modern leader concentrated on affordable

real estate, renters’ legal rights, and transport services. David has actually collaborated with nonprofit companies, candidates and chosen officials, and progressive organizations that look for to encourage working family members.

A renter in the Sunnyside area, David will bring a necessary voice to our city board.

They will be breaking a glass ceiling and electing the most educated Denver Mayor ever if Denver voters choose Lisa Calderon as their next mayor.

If Denver voters choose Lisa Calderon as their following mayor, they will certainly be breaking a glass ceiling. That much is noticeable.

Much less obvious is that they will certainly be electing the most enlightened Denver Mayor ever before.

Lisa Calderon, presently a professor at Regis College, holds a regulation level. A master’s degree. And a doctorate.

It’s an outstanding resumé. And after 8 years of Michael Hancock, that came to the job with only a series of political work in his history, it will bean amazing contrast to have Calderon in workplace.

It will also mean that Denver voters have actually chosen credentials and proficiency over cronyism. It could be a quantum leap for a city that has actually battled to stabilize boomtown growth with growing demands for economical real estate, area education and learning and also executing on fundamental city solutions.

Denver Public Schools failed school honcho search – the board who can’t shoot straight

Denver schools , $3 billion in the red, scandal-ridden, can not also get its act with each other to place Tom Boasberg’s carefully picked follower, Susana Cordova, with her direct monetary problems of passions with charter institutions, in the superintendent’s task.

This process will happen in 3 stages:

* Phase 1 will occur with Oct. 15 and also culminate with the recommended application due date.

* Stage 2 will take place in between Oct. 15 and Nov. 26, throughout which time, candidate meetings will certainly occur.

* Phase 3 follows with 2 milestone dates: on Nov. 26, finalist( s) will be introduced and on Dec. 10, the superintendent will certainly be picked.


Well, not specifically …

The Area has pushed back its ever-changing timeline for the third time.

Below’s what the area desired:

We seek an person that personifies the complying with qualifications:

* ● Firstly, an teacher.

* ● The Superintendent has to stay in Denver and their school-aged children must attend Denver Public institutions.

* ● We want a “Transformer” not a agitator. This is an individual with demonstrated success in transforming colleges in a similar district. Additionally, a school leader who will certainly terminate choice to ensure premium quality colleges are recognized in every area.

* ● The following DPS Superintendent need to have NO conflict of rate of interest with charter institution funders, Democrats For Education And Learning Reform (DFER), or any type of DFER associates.

* ● The Superintendent has to dedicate to full financial openness: indicating an outside, line by line audit of DPS financials.

* ● The new Superintendent needs to have a ” Corrective Justice” approach to self-control. This consists of: eliminating Student Source Administration, ending to no tolerance policies, resolving the college to jail pipe, and providing wraparound services, consisting of: proper Special Education and learning services, mental wellness services, and counselors.

Our new Superintendent needs to value all our instructors. We need a Superintendent that, as a leader:.

* ● Is committed to having actually qualified, accredited educators in the class.

* ● Has actually shown success in expanding the team in their institution district via the employment, employing and also retention of instructors as well as institution leaders of shade.

* ● Has a proven record in increasing social expertise in their professors as well as personnel, and in their own rearing.

* ● Has actually previously led with a commitment to collective practice and power sharing.

* ● Will finish high stakes screening, so that our educators can in fact educate.

* ● The Superintendent needs to prioritize communication as a leadership strategy to improve openness, area interaction, as well as control across all the stakeholders to whom they are answerable. The Superintendent ought to have an Open Door plan, and be an comprehensive leader who strolls the halls of the schools and also attaches with pupils, educators as well as moms and dads. In addition to the credentials wanted in our next Superintendent, OVOS brings the following demands relating to community input in the Superintendent search as well as selection procedure:.

* ● We anticipate openness and also disclosure of the HR search company and the option procedure.

* ● OVOS, in collaboration with a union of diverse community participants, will send our very own prospects for consideration.

* ● The procedure for Area input should be outlined from starting to finish, in its entirety.

* ● OVOS, in cooperation with other neighborhood groups, will establish a Area Rubric to submit to DPS and the search firm, for usage in assessing prospects.

* ● It is crucial to have community depiction on the option committee comprised of: pupils, parents, educators, union reps, neighborhood coordinators, a representative from each of the 5 areas, as well as a greater education representative.

* ● Prospects should take place a paying attention tour per of the 5 Denver districts and involve in real dialogue with the neighborhood.

Base line: Agitators wish to take the direction of the district before the citizens reject the board next loss.

Denver Public Schools will certainly remain to shed high quality candidates because the process has been exposed to be unethical.


Ritter advising Nebraska on renewable energy

Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter will offer tips on how Nebraska could boost its use of renewable energy sources.

 The architect of Colorado’s “new energy economy” will offer some pointers this week on how Nebraska can lessen its reliance on coal-fired electricity while creating new jobs.

Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter will give a $20-per-person presentation Monday night in Omaha, discussing how Colorado has added more than 6,000 jobs while substantially increasing development of wind, solar and natural gas resources. He also will meet with elected officials Tuesday in Lincoln.

“I really try to make the business case for making the transition to clean energy,” Ritter said in a phone interview last week.

Ritter’s message, however, might hit a head wind of skepticism from Nebraska power generators.

Pat Pope, CEO of the Nebraska Public Power District, said some of the steps Colorado took would likely inflate consumer energy prices in Nebraska. Specifically, he said he would oppose a government mandate that sets minimum standards for the amount of renewable energy utilities must provide in their portfolios.

“It’s a clash with reality,” Pope said. “We just can’t run our economy on just renewables.”

Ritter, a Democrat, was Colorado’s governor from 2007 to 2011. He now directs the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University.

The center works directly with governors, legislators and other policymakers at the state level to promote the development of domestic energy in ways that provide environmental and economic benefits. Ritter said that with gridlock in Congress, states are in a position to move more quickly on new energy initiatives.

While in office Ritter signed 57 energy bills, which he said helped attract 1,500 companies to the state. He also adopted a climate action plan that mapped out how the state could reduce 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Key legislation prompted the conversion of some coal-fired electrical plants to natural gas, while other laws contributed to a tenfold increase in the state’s wind power development.

A more controversial law allowed expanded drilling for oil and natural gas while imposing new regulations that required drillers to better protect air, land and water. The measures generated resistance from those industries.

Ritter said the single most important initiative was to increase the state’s renewable energy standard. In 2004 voters approved a requirement that utilities generate 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources. By the time Ritter left office, the percentage had been increased to 30 percent for investor-owned utilities.

The requirement often is cited as the reason wind, solar and other renewable energy companies locate or expand in the state, according to a report published by the center.

Nebraska does not have a renewable standard on the books, but the state’s three largest electrical utilities — NPPD, Omaha Public Power District and Lincoln Electric System — have all set voluntary goals to increase their renewable energy portfolios. Mandating such standards would be a mistake, said Pope, NPPD’s chief executive.

Part of the problem, he said, is that the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, so the sources can’t provide a constant supply to meet load demand around the clock.

Natural gas, which releases fewer carbon emissions than coal, can provide a base load, but Pope said much of the state lacks the pipeline infrastructure necessary to supply existing generating plants.

The state also needs more miles of transmission lines so it can export the excess electricity generated by wind. Pipelines and transmission lines are expensive, must clear regulatory hurdles and can meet stiff resistance from landowners.

“I’m just sure (Ritter) will advocate that we have one of the best wind potential resources in the nation,” Pope said. “I don’t have a problem with it, but let me do it when it makes sense for my customers. Right now I don’t have a need for it.”

State Sen. Ken Haar of Lincoln, an advocate for the expansion of renewable energy in Nebraska, said he has no intention of introducing a bill setting a renewable mandate. Frankly, he said, it wouldn’t stand a chance at passage.

But Haar is considering other energy-related bills. He argued that Nebraska needs to move faster in developing renewables and the economic benefits they can provide. He said he plans to attend Ritter’s presentations.

“We know at some point there’s going to be a cost for carbon pollution,” he said. “We have to move forward. We seem to move slower than all states around us.”

Ritter’s presentation at the Nebraska Conservation Summit on Monday will take place at the Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation starts at 6 p.m.

The Nebraska League of Conservation Voters and the Nebraska Conservation Education Fund are sponsors. Go to for more information or to purchase tickets.

Jeannie Ritter win award for mental illness advocate

Exactly what Jeannie Ritter did to bring a voice to mental disease by simply because the psychologically sick in Colorado get the level of care and compassion as do individuals with an actual disease, is nothing in short supply of remarkable, as well as for that she was handed the 2014 Hildegard Messenbaugh Award at Third Method Center’s trademark fundraiser, True Grit.

Messenbaugh, a psychiatrist, founded Third Method Center in 1970 as a protection for runaway teenagers. These days it offers a continuum of attention to boys and girls age 14 to 19 who possess experienced real, mental and sexual abuse, neglect and abandonment.

“Jeannie Ritter might be most well-known as our state’s former first lady,” noted singer William Matthews, president associated with Third Way Center board. “but we think the woman best influence is by her continuing attempts to carry a voice to psychological state and act as a champion for all those with psychological infection, including residents of Third Way Center.

“As first lady,” Matthews added, “in her present role as ambassador when it comes to psychological state Center of Denver, through her utilize severely emotionally disturbed kids within the Denver Public institutes so that as a family group recommend, Jeannie has seen firsthand the necessity for greater understanding and knowledge of psychological illness and better accessibility solutions for anyone in need.”

Pete and Marilyn Coors were the honorary chairmen for real Grit, which brought 400 people to the Seawell Ballroom on Saturday-night for a chuckwagon dinner, auction and party.

Matthews joined up with the next Way Center board in 2001 and has now been its president since 2004. “as soon as you’re in and committed, it’s hard not to be,” he said of their longstanding solution. Matthews also recalled he went to their first real Grit 24 years back when it happened “in a horse barn in Littleton with dust floors. Pete and Marilyn were the chairmen that year, too.”

Huff Post interviews Bill Ritter on Energy

Over the last decade, Colorado has emerged to boast one of the most aggressive clean energy standards in the United States — something that began under the administration of former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr. Now, as the director of theCenter for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, Governor Bill Ritter is advising the White House on how to achieve its clean energy goals.

Natalie Pace: Colorado has a goal of achieving 30 percent renewables by 2020 — one of the most aggressive clean energy standards in the nation. What role did your administration play in setting these standards?

Governor Bill Ritter Jr.: In my time as governor, I signed 57 different pieces of legislation, many of which we initiated. We had a 10 percent renewable energy standard when I started. I signed a bill that took us to a 20 percent standard in the 1st year in office. By the 4th year in office, I signed a bill that took us to a 30 percent renewable energy standard. That was the most aggressive energy standard [in the nation], first or second …

Bill Ritter Jr. at the CSU solar plant.
Photo by: Marie Commiskey. Used with permission.

NP: Does that 30% renewable standard include natural gas?

BR: No. It doesn’t include large hydro either. If you think about Xcel Energy, which is the largest investor owned utility in Colorado, they will reduce their emissions from 2005 to 2020 by 35%. They provide power to about 65 percent of Coloradans. That came about as a result of a variety of policies that we put in place in that four-year period, [including] the renewable energy standard, energy efficiency, net metering and interconnection standards that make solar work better.

NP: Getting a policy initiative like this up and running during The Great Recession must have been difficult. Where did you secure the funding?

BR: We did it through the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard. The requirement was that Xcel would have to reduce their consumers’ energy usage by one and a half percent per year. The interesting thing about it, which made it not so difficult, is that they did it through lighting. The money that we had from the Recovery Act also helped in a significant way. We were doing about $4-$8 million in weatherization programs and we went to $80 million. There was a significant increase in spending on weatherization. It was largely homes that could have gotten LEAP money – the low-income energy assistance program money. We also did a variety of big weatherization projects. We worked with municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals. The acronym is MUSH.

NP: Did Xcel Energy increase efficiency through CFL or LED lighting?

BR: A mix. Xcel was able to see their 1.5 percent standard and raise it a little bit.

NP: Do you think that your office, the state of Colorado and the city of Denver are setting the example for buildings in energy efficiency?

BR: Not on the building side. I would say that we did a much better job on the electricity sector side, in finding a path forward. We actually had the support of the utility industry. On the building side, there are states that have done a little better job. We’d be in the top tier, but we didn’t set the example. We set the example on how to carve out policy that would change your energy mix and reduce your emissions portfolio in a very significant way.

NP: What is the Center for the New Energy Economy and what is the Center’s vision and mission?

BR: A year ago, I was part of a meeting at the White House. They asked us to provide recommendations back to the White House about how they can move this clean energy agenda. By far, the biggest potential in the Federal Government for acting on a Clean Energy agenda without federal help, has to do with energy efficiency – with energy conservation. We told them our recommendation was that the President should double the goal. They’ve now made an amendment that is a billion dollars a year over the next five years. There is so much potential on performance contacting particularly, but there are a lot of barriers.

NP: You were successful at promoting a very aggressive Clean Energy agenda in a swing state. Is part of your role finding win-win solutions for Republicans and Democrats?

BR: We spent half of the year in 2013 providing recommendations to the White House on how to move a clean energy agenda without Congressional action. The premise was that Congress was not going to act in a meaningful way on energy while the President was serving in office (and a lot of other things as well). On the energy front, we provided recommendations in five discrete areas, renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative fuels for vehicles, how to change the business model for utilities and the federal government’s role in rulemaking for natural gas extraction. It’s really about putting in a strategy that involves Presidential action, executive agency action – all within his lawful authority.

NP: So how do you promote a New Energy Economy at the national level?

BR: So much of what we looked at had to do with how federal programs are siloed. There is a need to work together. There are all kinds of things that you can do with mortgages and with the mortgage lending industry where renewable energy and energy efficiency are concerned. However, the Department of Energy [needs to] work with Housing and Urban Development to make sure that the FHA, the mortgage lending industry that the Federal Government runs, is encouraging the build out of energy efficient homes.

NP: Sounds easy enough. So how do you get these agencies talking and working together?

BR: John Podesta is the guy that the President has tasked with coordinating that.

NP: Red tape is always an issue with the government. How can you make bureaucracy more efficient?

BR: Last year there were 300 pieces of state financing legislation. You can aggregate that and align it with something at the federal level, and do things that you can’t do state by state.

NP: Colorado had to dramatically increase wind and solar energy in order to meet its goals. How did you set that in motion as governor?

BR: Colorado is the 9th windiest state. We’re the 6th sunniest state. One of our things was to go after Vestas Wind Systems. While I was governor, they built four separate plants here. Those plants are operating at maximum capacity right now. There are 1500 workers in Vestas Wind plants in Colorado. We went from 200 and some megawatts in wind power when I became governor to having 2700 megwatts seven years later.

We’re building up a lot of rooftop solar. Those are real jobs – people going to work every day. It’s a transition.

NP: Meanwhile the coal industry is suffering…

BR: People kept saying, “You’ve got to pick winners and losers.” That’s actually not right. What we’re trying to pick is a 21st century economy that can employ people, but at the same time address emissions and try to hold rate payers harmless. We want to find a way to do this equitably so that you don’t build this New Energy Economy on the backs of poor people.

NP: So, what do you say to the coal industry, and to all of the people who rely on those jobs for their daily bread?

BR: We’re the tenth largest coal producing state. Everybody wants clean energy, but it is hard to imagine two or three years out when you are worried about putting food on the plate today. In the last year of my term, I signed a bill called Clean Air, Clean Jobs, where we took down a gigawatt of coal and transitioned that to natural gas. In the natural gas economy, the oil and gas economy employs over 110,000 workers. So, you don’t have to be dislocated. We’re not going to transition out of coal anytime soon. Even with our aggressive clean energy agenda, coal is still going to be 30 percent of our state portfolio by 2030.

NP: Are you concerned about the environmental hazards of fracking?

BR: The EPA deputy director is now looking for how you reward the best players in the natural gas industry for employing best practices in the oil fields. That’s one of our recommendations. We said, “Like the Baldridge Award. Let’s give a George P. Mitchell Award that says we want to acknowledge that there are good players, and recognize the good players out there.”

Old Ritter foe up in race

This year, millions of dollars are being funneled in Colorado where close midterm elections have the potential of making mostly blue Colorado a little more red.

A tight senate race against incumbent Mark Udall (D) and challenger U.S. Rep.Cory Gardner (R) is the focus for many prime donors because of Gardner’s potential to tip the majority currently held in the senate in the Republicans favor. According to their campaign records, Udall collected $13.7 million and Gardner received $5 million, both since June 30.

Gardner is speculated by many as a prime contender against Udall since heannounced he would be vacating his current House seat in Colorado’s 4th district to run for senate. Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who was initially running for Senate against Udall, stepped down after Gardner’s announcement and is now the Republican Nominee for Gardner’s old seat in the 4th district where he has a substantial chance of winning.

According to a recent poll, the closely-watched senate race is, tied with 44 percent for Gardner and 42 percent for Udall with 10 percent undecided.

Besides the close race in the senate, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is up for re-election this year against former U.S. Rep Bob Beauprez (R) who previously ran for governor against Gov. Bill Ritter.

According to recent poll numbers, the race is tied with 43 percent for  Hickenlooper and 44 percent for Beauprez. One issue Hickenlooper faces moving forward is a job approval rating that has declined since early this year.

“Coloradans seem generally optimistic about the future and confidant in the state’s economy,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, told the North Denver News. “But, that is certainly not enough to open the way for a smooth ride to reelection for Gov. John Hickenlooper.”