DPS and union reach agreement, but thousands of Denver-area school jobs still open


Denver Public Schools has reached a tentative agreement with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association union on a new three-year contract that, among other things, increases starting salaries for teachers and provides substantial raises for returning educators. And Scott Pribble, DPS’s director of external communications, is thrilled.

“We are delighted with the agreement in place,” he said. “We feel that we are going to become the perfect destination for teachers looking for a great place to work.

The competition for quality educators has never been stronger. Denver metro school districts, like those across the country, are struggling to hire and retain teachers and other support staff, including paraprofessionals and support staff, largely due to the number of people who left the field during the COVID -19 pandemic. Just days before the start of instruction on August 22 for DPS, the largest district in Colorado, with just over 200 schools serving about 90,000 students, the district had about 150 openings for teachers. And while Pribble doesn’t have up-to-date numbers on how many of those unfilled slots, DPS’s online careers page currently lists dozens of teaching gigs among at least 350 open positions — the point at which searches are capped.

In recent weeks, DPS and Jefferson County Public Schools have held hiring events aimed at filling those gaps, and other local districts have made hiring a priority. But thousands of education-related jobs are still available in the metropolitan area.

On August 8, when students began returning for the 2022-2023 academic year (more followed the following week), a total of 2,133 jobs were available in Aurora, Adams County districts. , Boulder County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Littleton and Cherry. Stream. As of today, Sept. 2, that number is down to 1,821. Add Denver Public Schools’ 350 positions, however, and the total comes to 2,171.

Here are the latest numbers for eight local districts:

Aurora Public Schools
Jobs on August 8: 240
Jobs on September 2: 240

Jefferson County Public Schools
Job vacancies on August 8: 482
Job vacancies as of September 2: 382

Douglas County School District
Job vacancies on August 8: 481
Jobs on September 2: 453

Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Job vacancies on August 8: 310
Jobs on September 2: 245

Adams County School District 14
Job vacancies on August 8: 138
Jobs on September 2: 127

Littleton Public Schools
Job openings on August 8: 90
Jobs on September 2: 29

Boulder Valley School District
Job vacancies on August 8: 124
Jobs on September 2: 111

Cherry Creek Public Schools
Job vacancies on August 8: 268
Jobs on September 2: 234

With the DPS positions filled, the district calculates the new contract will add up to $40.5 million in teacher compensation in its first year alone. Teacher salaries start at $50,130 under the pact and returning instructors will see an average annual salary increase of 8.7% plus benefits which will be augmented by an additional $2.5 million paid by the district. DPS also boasts that its teachers will have “the most protected out-of-class time for educators in the metro area, including a 45-minute duty-free lunch each day plus at least 300 minutes of self-planning time each week for educators.” primary school and 345 minutes per week for secondary school teachers.

The DPS also says it is committed to establishing collaborative committees to review and oversee district growth and performance systems for improvements in areas such as class size; paying teachers for their participation in management and other committees; and create platforms to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within its institutions.

The contract still needs to be ratified by members of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. But late on September 1, the DCTA sent this message via Twitter: “We have worked tirelessly to ensure that the needs of our students are met, despite the challenges. We have gone above and beyond for our students. We are pleased to have taken the necessary steps to attract, recruit and retain the highest quality educators.”

DPS Superintendent Alex Marrero acknowledged in a Sept. 1 letter to parents and guardians that “the past few weeks of negotiations have been difficult.” Ultimately, however, “individuals on both sides of the bargaining table did what was best for Denver Public School students. It’s good for our whole community when we can make these kinds of deals. Our common mission as educators prevailed. This shared commitment to our academics has been reinforced due to the pandemic. I am very happy that now that this new agreement is in place, we can all focus once again on the work of ensuring that every learner thrives. »

And if every teacher thrives, that’s good too.


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