It was the last day of school for the Douglas County School District and kids were looking forward to summer vacation, but two teacher union hacks were looking forward to their own time in the sun with 9News‘ education reporter, Nelson Garcia. In his latest piece of union smut camouflaged as legit coverage, Garcia did a segment on the departure of some teachers from the award-winning school district, taking the word of two disgruntled union members that all was not rosy in the District.
Douglas County School Board President John Carson explained the issue to Garcia: “What’s really at issue here is that we took money away from unions and gave it directly to teachers.”
This year the district stopped paying teachers union salaries, which totaled over $1.2 million since 2007.
One of the quoted teachers is Carlye Holladay, who plans to leave the school district after this year. While Holladay paints herself as a dedicated teacher (citing that she’s a “nationally certified” teacher) she conveniently leaves out that she was an officer in the teachers union. But, she wasn’t just an officer, according to Garcia:
“[Carlye] Holladay and [John] Kissingford fully admit that they are members of the teachers union and, in fact, Holladay was even part of a negotiations team trying to get the district to sign a new collective bargaining agreement, which was dissolved.”
Holladay and Kissingford also assert that teachers have no say in the school district, particularly as it related to the district’s new performance measurements, a notion that Carson puts to rest: “We’ve had hundreds of teachers working to put this new evaluation system together.”
This sour grapes from union hacks should have been put in proper context — specifically a survey to which over 70% of Douglas County teachers took part in. That survey, partially administered by the teachers union, found that 85% of teachers said that Douglas County schools were a good place to work and learn.
That would have been useful for 9News viewers to know, but for some reason Garcia left it out.
Union leader Holladay also tried to assert that the number of teachers leaving the district this year is abnormally high. Again, it’s not true. It’s at 10%, which is no different than previous years, and as 9News pointed out briefly, average for other large school districts.
What’s notable is what Garcia and 9News haven’t covered. Cherry Creek Schools have an even higher amount of teacher vacancies, but we haven’t seen any planted stories about that because Cherry Creek Schools are union-cozy.
Does Nelson Garcia only serve what teachers unions prepare or can we expect a story soon on teachers fleeing Cherry Creek?