The writing was on the chalkboard for Jeffco superintendent Dan McMinimee from the day in 2015 that JeffCo voters ousted their school choice board members in a bitter recall battle. Now, it appears that the formality of showing the district’s superintendent the door is starting to unfold.
On the agenda for the January 12th board of education meeting is a motion to begin the search for a new superintendent. McMinimee’s contract, which expires on June 30, 2017, stipulates that the school board gives the superintendent a 90-day notice if they plan to extend his contact. This puts the notification period for McMinimee at the end of March.
When the union-backed school board took over after last year’s recall, they did not opt to fire McMinimee immediately, which would have cost the school district a year’s worth of salary as a severance. Instead they took a wait and see approach, saying out loud that they were willing to give him a chance, but most likely planning to replace him with a voice more in line with teacher/administrator interests (read: willing to blindly follow the union’s bidding).
For its part, the editorial board of the Denver Post praised McMinimee’s efforts in JeffCo, and speculated that whomever was selected to replace him will face challenges in the areas of budget, teacher salaries, and facilities.
Just last month, Jefferson County voters shot down both a bond measure and mill-levy override designed to support public schools, while most school district voters approved similar measures. That goes to show that even though enough voters were rallied to oust the reform-minded school board members in last year’s recall, JeffCo voters still do not trust the new board members with more of their tax dollars.
With these headwinds, the crisis of confidence in JeffCo’s school leadership will continue on, as the concentrated interests of the teacher union will continue to grind against the more diffused interests of parents just looking for great educational outcomes for their kids. The big loser in this battle? The kids.