Fairplay, Colo., Aug 28 – Park County School District RE-2 attended a second day of mediation with South Park Education Association  Aug. 23. The parties again made great progress.

The district understands that SPEA desires a larger raise than what was offered by the district and agreed to by teachers when they signed their contracts for the 2019-20 school year.

However, the district’s funds are limited. Contrary to SPEA’s representations, the district is not sitting on vast cash overages. The district continues to believe that the additional raise demanded by SPEA is not sustainable in light of the district’s current funding and tax revenues.

The district believes that the teachers’ current raise, plus their comprehensive benefits package, is competitive with and even exceeds what is offered by comparable Colorado school districts.

The district’s board of education continues to balance the district’s long-term fiscal stability with the highest quality of education and best possible support for all of its employees.

The district and SPEA continue to engage in substantive, meaningful conversations about the district’s tax base, state funding and financial projections for the 2019-20 school year.

School is now in session, and all teachers have signed contracts under the existing salary scale that included across-the-board raises for all teachers. The district is confident that everyone – administrators and teachers alike – remains committed to delivering the highest quality education to our community’s children throughout the district.

Throughout this dispute, SPEA has engaged in public messaging that misrepresents the nature of the dispute and the status of the district’s finances. The district is unable to comment publicly on these matters due to the lawsuit and appeal filed by SPEA against the district.

Those who are interested are encouraged to read the Park County District Court’s orders issued June 26 and June 27, which ruled in favor of the district.

Most recently, representatives from the Colorado Education Association – SPEA’s parent organization – were conducting SPEA-related activities inside school while classes were in session. This violates the district’s facility use policies, and it distracts everyone from their primary task of delivering the best possible education to our children. Disruptions, demonstrations and partisanship do not help the parties to reach a functional resolution.

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