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Thursday Churn: Regents decide tuition


What’s churning:

Updated 1:20 p.m. – The University of Colorado Board of Regents this afternoon approved 2012-13 tuition rates that are lower than those recommended by system administrators but which are made possible by reducing the amount of money available for faculty and administration merit pay.

The administration had proposed two options for each CU campus. The regents chose the lower set of increases and then trimmed them further with the money saved from the merit pay pool.

Here are the increases under the compromise plan:

  • Boulder – 5 percent increase for resident undergraduate students instead of the 6.7 percent suggested in the administration’s plan.
  • Denver – A .8 percent increase in the cost per credit hour, instead of 1.9 percent. The actual percentage increase will be higher for some students because the requirement for full-time status is being raised to 15 from 13 credit hours.
  • Colorado Springs – 4.9 percent increase instead of 5.8 percent.

The administration had suggested that an amount equal to 3 percent of total staff compensation be used for faculty and other merit raises. The regents cut that back to 2 percent.

Tuition has been a contentious topic for the regents ever since early administration proposals at the start of the year suggested double-digit increases in some cases (see story). Some regents also were unhappy with raises for a number of top administrators last year.

Going into today’s meeting, the administration had suggested the regents approve the higher of the two sets of increases. Those larger hikes were: Boulder, 8.6 percent; Denver 9.4 percent; Colorado Springs 7 percent.

Denver’s teachers union has scheduled a rally at 5 p.m. today before the district’s monthly school board meeting. Henry Roman, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, described the event as “a spirit rally, just as you would see in our schools.”

“It’s an opportunity for our teachers to come together and have their voices heard on important issues we face as we begin working with the district on a new teacher contract,” Roman said in a news release.

Roman said the DCTA is seeking to undo recent pay freezes and wants more teacher input in their evaluations. He also said the union will collaborate with the district on proposed reforms, such as extended learning opportunities.

Laura Wilson, principal of Redstone Elementary School in Douglas County, has been named 2012 Colorado National Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Executives.

Under her leadership, Redstone has achieved a 17 percent improvement in student CSAP scores over the past year and will receive the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award this year. Wilson will be honored, along with other state winners, in Washington, D.C., this fall.

You might want to get your tickets now for Sal Khan’s visit to Denver in May. Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, will speak from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the Magness Arena in the Ritchie Center at the University of Denver. Event info.

If you haven’t heard, Khan is the Louisiana native born to immigrant parents who went on to earn three degrees from M.I.T. In 2004, he started tutoring his young cousin in algebra via the internet and, at the urging of others, began placing his lessons on YouTube in 2006. His lessons proved so popular – imagine 20,000 hits for algebra videos – that Khan quit his job as a hedge fund manager in 2009 to work on the Khan Academy full-time.

Khan has been featured on a number of national news outlets and, most recently, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who says he uses Khan Academy for his own kids, wrote the Time profile on Khan.

What’s on tap:

The DPS board has a regular meeting at 5 p.m. and a public comment session at 6:30 p.m. at 900 Grant St. The agenda includes an update on the district’s pension financing and a vote on a charter contract for Monarch Montessori, the school DPS board members initially denied but State Board of Education members returned to them for further consideration.

A good read from elsewhere:

For-profit regulation: Colorado isn’t the only state looking to update its laws on regulation of for-profit colleges. Stateline.org takes a look at the landscape in several other states. Colorado’s regulation legislation, Senate Bill 12-164, is pending in the Senate.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.