Updated 4 p.m. – There will be a slight change in the Republican lineup on the Senate Education Committee for the upcoming legislative session.
GOP leaders announced this afternoon that Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, will join the committee, replacing Sen. Mark Scheffel, R-Parker, who will be serving on three other committees. Renfroe, a conservative small businessman, formerly served on the Eaton school board and was elected to his second Senate term earlier this month.
Republican Sens. Nancy Spence of Centennial, long a leading Republican voice on education issues, and Keith King of Colorado Springs, a charter school administrator and school finance expert, will return to the education committee.
Senate Democrats haven’t announced their committee lineups, although it’s expected they will replace Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, on Senate Ed. He’s been assigned to the Joint Budget Committee. Because of the workload, JBC members usually don’t serve on other panels. The other Democrats on education last session were Chair Bob Bacon of Fort Collins, Vice Chair Edie Hudak of Westminster, Rollie Heath of Boulder and Mike Johnston of Denver.
House Republicans and Democrats also haven’t announced committee rosters, although Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, has been named chair of House Ed. Four members of the panel won’t be back in any event. Democratic Chair Mike Merrifield of Colorado Springs is term limited, Democrat Karen Middleton of Aurora didn’t run for reelection, Democrat Debbie Benefield of Arvada was defeated and Republican Scott Tipton of Cortez is headed to Congress. And, 2010 member Frank McNulty of Highlands Ranch will be the new speaker of the House, who generally doesn’t serve on committees. But, the 33-31 partisan split in the House may require some juggling to ensure Republicans have majorities on every panel.
Most Colorado school districts will have a short work week due to the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday. But in some districts, an extra day or two is off because furlough days were part of the budget-cutting package for 2010-11.
That’s true in Littleton Public Schools, which is out the entire week. Two furlough days in the district, which is grappling with cuts to state funding and declining enrollment, are expected to save about $860,000 this year. To balance the calendar, Littleton officials carved one day out of each semester.
And in Adams 50 Westminster, tomorrow will be a furlough day for teachers and many classroom aides. The furloughs were part of negotiated agreements with the employee groups as the district cut $3 million from its 2010-11 budget.
Teachers agreed to a furlough day and a temporary reduction in their contract from 185 days to 184 days. Education support workers agreed to two furlough days.
“Just as so many families and businesses are making sacrifices during these difficult economic times, so are the teachers and employees of District 50,” Westminster teachers union President Melissa Walsh said in an article on the district website. You can read more about it here.
Speaking of district budgets, it’s time again for financial talks to begin. In case you missed it, Jefferson County Public Schools held five public meetings on a recent Saturday to talk about next year’s financial state. Here’s the list of proposed reductions being considered and you can access a Powerpoint presentation made at those Saturday meetings from the district homepage.
What’s on tap:
The calendar is pretty bare during this week but at a couple of board meetings are scheduled.
Mapleton‘s school board is set to meet at 6 p.m. tomorrow at district headquarters, 591 E. 80th Ave. in Denver. And Adams 14 Commerce City also has a board meeting scheduled tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., at district headquarters, 5291 East 60th Avenue in Commerce City. No agenda is posted on either district website.