Charter school teachers in the state of Colorado do not have union representation. On the other hand, a set of the charter school’s instructors are seeking to become the first of their kind.
Students who have failed in regular classrooms or who come from poor backgrounds may enroll at the New America School. Additionally, students who speak English as a second language may be found at the three campuses in Thornton, Aurora, and Lakewood.
Teacher turnover is high because of poor salary and other concerns, such as a lack of time to prepare for various courses or disciplines, the instructors say By joining a union, they seek to alleviate some of the difficulties they face at work.
“This the only way for educators to have equitable and accountable voices in the system,” said Collette Simkins, an art and drama teacher at the Thornton campus. “New America seeks to be something different and something new, so why shouldn’t we be the alternative to something different than what charters are in Colorado?”
The school board rejected the unionization option last week. As an alternative, they suggested that representatives from each of the school’s campuses join a committee that would then interact with the superintendent and the board. That’s not enough, according to the teachers who are leading the unionization movement.
“In our schools, we don’t necessarily have a say in what is going on around us. We are typically one of the last to know what is going on in our schools,” said Elaina King, a social studies teacher.
They want to continue their unionization efforts in spite of the present setbacks.