Educate Denver calls on DPS to be transparent about school closures


A group that includes a state senator, an ex-mayor, former school board members and more is calling on Denver Public Schools to be more transparent about how the district decided which schools to recommend for closure next year.

The statement issued Friday by Educate Denver comes just days after DPS announced it is looking to close 10 schools because of declining enrollment. If the plan is approved by the district’s Board of Education next month, then more than 1,500 students will have to change schools next year.

“…(A)s board members consider school consolidations and closures, they must move with families through a transparent process that includes their voices,” said state Sen. James Coleman, D-Denver, and co-chair of the coalition, in a statement. “Clarity around the criteria used to inform these recommendations and commitment to a timeline that allows for meaningful dialogue in each school community is non-negotiable.”

Educate Denver is a coalition of more than 30 education and political leaders who advocate for a high-quality education for DPS students. Those in the coalition include former Denver Mayor Federico Peña; former University of Colorado President Bruce Benson; Lisa Escárcega, a member of the state Board of Education; and several former DPS school board directors.

Citing the “emotional trauma that surrounds school closure,” the coalition said that families and district employees need more data and time “to understand the programmatic shortcomings of under-enrolled schools” and a clear timeline for the transition.

The coalition also pushed district leaders, including the superintendent and school board directors, to hold meetings with families and employees affected by the potential closures. The school board should also hold an extended public hearing, the group said in the statement.


Source link