What to know about the planned walkout
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.