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The Churn: GOP grouchy about flyer

What’s churning:

Two influential Republican legislators Wednesday sent a letter to education Commissioner Robert Hammond complaining about the fact that a back-to-school packet sent out by Prairie View High School in Brighton. The packet included a Great Education Colorado Action flyer about the proposed constitutional amendment that would raise state income and sales taxes for five years to provide extra funding for schools and colleges.

Sen. Nancy Spence of Centennial and Rep. Tom Massey of Poncha Springs wrote, “We suggest that each summer, as back-to-school packets are prepared and back-to-school events planned, CDE remind all school district administrators of the existing policies prohibiting such practices.” EdNews queried CDE about the letter, but we didn’t hear back by close of business Wednesday. (Read text of letter.)

Brighton Superintendent Rod Blunck confirmed that the flyer had gone out and that Principal Chris Fiedler was “extremely remorseful” about the incident. Blunck said district administrators were reminded about dos and don’ts during a meeting Wednesday. (The superintendent also said the GOP letter was incorrect in referring to “two political flyers.” Blunck said the second flyer was about district budget cuts.)

Lisa Weil of Great Education said she didn’t know how the flyer ended up at Prairie View but noted that the group has a downloadable one-page info sheet on its website. That document was updated Wednesday to include the reminder “Note: Do not reproduce or distribute this page using school or district resources.”

A panel of legislators and experts created by the 2011 legislature to study school discipline policies is finally getting organized and has its first meeting next week. The final membership of the Legislative Task Force to Study School Discipline was announced Wednesday and includes six lawmakers and 10 members representing education, law enforcement, community organizations and parents (see news release).

Creation of the task force was prompted by concerns that some schools are using unnecessarily harsh discipline on some students and relying too heavily on referrals to police. The group holds its first meeting at 1 p.m. next Wednesday in the Capitol. Committee website

University of Colorado officials are trumpeting the fact that the university received more than $213.2 million in gifts from more than 47,000 donors in the 12 months that ended June 30. The amount is a record. News release

“Setting a record for private support in this difficult economy demonstrates the confidence our donors have not only in the university, its faculty and students, but also in the strong stewardship of the university’s fundraising arm, the CU Foundation,” said President Bruce Benson.

What’s on tap:

The CU Board of Regents holds its summer retreat this evening through Saturday at President Benson’s mountain home in Silverthorne. The group will get a briefing on workforce needs from a panel of business leaders and discuss long-range planning issues. Agenda
The Churn is published as news breaks during the summer.

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