DougCo teacher’s union supports MLO/bond despite conflict with district

Suzie Glassman

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Douglas County Federation logoDouglas County Federation

By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver

(Castle Rock, CO) The Douglas County Federation (DCF), a local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, sent a letter to its members announcing its support for an MLO and bond despite frustration with superintendent Erin Kane and the board of education.

Kevin DiPasquale, DCF president, wrote, “Douglas County Federation does support an MLO/bond for the specific purpose of funding compensation for staff, especially certified and classified staff, but does not condone in any way shape or form many of the behaviors, unethical/illegal, that have been highlighted since December 2021.”

DiPasquale writes that he tried to build a relationship with Kane and the board after she was hired but was rebuffed on multiple occasions. He says his emails to the district’s leadership and their responses are public documents anyone can request.

“If the funding measures fail, the new board majority and Erin Kane can continue rolling out Reformer Justin Williams’ desire to have a school district that is mostly (all) charter,” he wrote. “The board majority will be happy because their donors locally and beyond can rejoice in further tearing down public education in Douglas County, Colorado.”

DiPasquale is a former DougCo teacher and has been an educator for 25 years, according to the DCF website. He says in his letter that he’s hopeful the funding passes because students and staff “deserve to thrive in their learning and working environment.”

DiPasquale also mentions receiving a “not so veiled threat” that supporters of the campaign will blame the union if the MLO/bond doesn’t pass because they didn’t publicly donate money to the cause. He says he doesn’t appreciate the threats and doesn’t think the entire board of education knows about this behavior to intimidate his group into helping pass the MLO/bond.

The DCF has not had a collective bargaining agreement with the district since 2012, when the conservative-minded reform board decided to end its relationship with the union. Efforts to bring back a collective bargaining agreement failed in 2019 despite widespread support from teachers.

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