Union-Free Douglas County Hires 150 New Teachers in Colorado
Despite attempts by local union voices to claim that teachers are fleeing Douglas County, the school district announced today that it will hire a projected 150 additional teachers for the coming school year.
Dr. Elizabeth Fagen, Douglas County School District (DCSD) Superintendent announced in a press release that, “We are pleased to welcome 3,600 DCSD teachers next year.”
DCSD awarded an additional $200 per pupil back to schools which has allowed many schools to hire on new K-12 teachers. As such, the DCSD Human Resources office estimated that an additional 150 teaching positions would become available — a figure that does not include charter school additions, which will also likely hire new teachers.
The positive news for the school district comes a year after its innovative Board of Education chose to break ties with the local teachers union. Last July, the DSCD board did not renew its contract with the Douglas County Federation of Teachers and now operates free of union control.
However, recent rumors have been spread by local media and union sympathizers that there is now mass exodus of teachers “fleeing” the schools within the Douglas County School District.
Claims were made by two teachers last month that many teachers wanted to leave Douglas County because “the relationship between teachers and central administration has become unfortunately adversarial.” One of these teachers was actually a former union officer and served on the negotiations team last year when DCSD stopped the collection of union dues and compensation for union officers.
In contrast, new figures from the DSCD Human Resources Department show that only an average number of teachers left the district and that it was for a variety of standard reasons. The official numbers indicated a total of 380 non-returning teachers whose top reasons for leaving included retirement, family care, an out of district move, or finding work closer to home.
“The turnover rate is in line with historical averages,” said DCSD Human Resources Officer Brian Cesare. “While we did see an increase in the number of retirees, we are very pleased with the number of teachers returning to the district.”
Dr. Fagen concluded that, “DCSD continues to maintain its position as a destination district for teachers.”