DENVER (CBS4) – Parents with students enrolled in Denver Public Schools said Friday they are concerned about the impact the first day of a teachers strike would have on their families. DPS and the teacher’s union will meet Friday evening, just days before members of the union plan to hit the picket line.
“We’ve been in Denver Public Schools for 12 years now,” said Megan Perkins. “It’s nerve wracking, we don’t know what is going to happen.”
Perkins has three kids in the district, two at Slavens School and a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School. She and fellow DPS parent Laura Edwards, a mother of another Slavens student, are concerned about what might happen in the next few days. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association is scheduled to start striking on Monday.
“We’ve heard from a great deal number of parents,” a DPS Board of Education member said at a news conference on Thursday.
Leaders say children will be safe but some parents will need to find alternative options for their students in certain early learning classes.
Negotiations were set to continue on Friday evening just two days after the governor and the Department of Labor and Employment announced it would not intervene in the process. Gov. Jared Polis pointed out at a news conference on Wednesday that the two sides are only $300 apart in their proposals for starting teacher pay. He believes the district and the union are close to a deal and can reach one without a strike.
“We’re fairly confident we can reach an agreement before a strike,” a board member said on Thursday.
Perkins and Edwards say they will react to the strike one day at a time, understanding the loss of instruction will be difficult to make up but their students should be safe at school.
“For right now we’re both planning on sending our children,” Edwards said.