What to know about the planned walkout

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Saja Hindi

As teach­ers in the Den­ver Pub­lic Schools dis­trict pre­pare to strike Mon­day for the first time in 25 years, par­ents and stu­dents have had a lot ques­tions about what a walkout could mean for them.

The Den­ver Post has an­swered some of the fre­quently asked ques­tions about the planned strike.

Will there be any re­sources for par­ents with kids at home?

Den­ver’s 30 re­cre­ation cen­ters will open at 8 a.m. dur­ing strike days and ac­cess is free for ages 5 to 18 with a My Den­ver card. The af­ter-school pro­grams will be fully staffed. Den­ver Pub­lic Li­brary lo­ca­tions will open at 10 a.m., and will have ad­di­tional pro­gram­ming and snacks for chil­dren.

Those who are on free and re­duced lunch still will be able to ac­cess those ser­vices at their schools with a par­ent or guardian, re­gard­less of whether that school was to close or if early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion classes are not of­fered.

The city’s Free Healthy Meals pro­gram will also have ex­tended hours and in­creased ca­pac­ity for kids who are at the Den­ver rec cen­ters.

The Boys & Girls Clubs plan to con­tinue op­er­at­ing in neigh­bor­hoods and schools that are open, ac­cord­ing to a city news re­lease.

What if there aren’t enough sub­sti­tutes?

The school dis­trict has hired 300 new sub­sti­tute teach­ers in ad­di­tion to the 1,200 on its “ac­tive ros­ter” list of sub­sti­tute teach­ers. The dis­trict is also plan­ning to move 1,400 em­ploy­ees from its cen­tral of­fice into the schools.

If the dis­trict finds it does not have enough para­pro­fes­sion­als, sub­sti­tute teach­ers and dis­trict em­ploy­ees to staff a school, of­fi­cials will as­sess whether to close it.

Are there reper­cus­sions if teach­ers don’t strike?

The union said on its web­site that though the strike is a “col­lec­tive ef­fort,” each mem­ber can make their own de­ci­sion. “This de­ci­sion can­not be made in a vac­uum; one must con­sider moral, po­lit­i­cal and fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions when de­cid­ing whether — and how — to sup­port a strike,” the union’s web­site said.

Still, the union noted that “cross­ing the picket line” un­der­mines the ef­forts of oth­ers to cre­ate bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions.

Are there reper­cus­sions if teach­ers do strike?

The union said on its web­site that it’s “un­likely” that a union mem­ber would lose his or her job if that per­son strikes. The law has a spe­cial pro­tec­tion for teach­ers, so dis­missals would have to be based on per­for­mance, not par­tic­i­pa­tion in a strike.

The school dis­trict pre­vi­ously said in a state­ment that it is not DPS’ pol­icy to fire em­ploy­ees who legally par­tic­i­pate in a strike.

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