"The board has absolutely no authority - none - to place such questions before district voters," said Mark Grueskin, attorney for the union in a letter to the Douglas County School District. "Further, should you elect to place one or more such policy questions on the ballot, my client and other plaintiffs will sue over the extent of the Board's authority."
Wednesday night, school board members will decide to whether to place one or none of these possible questions on the ballot for voters to approve:
1. Should the district be prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining with the union?
2. Should the district be prohibited from using public funding for the compensation of union leaders?
3. Should the district be prohibited from collecting union dues from employee paychecks on the union's behalf?
Grueskin argues that the Colorado Constitution does not grant the school board authority to call for a vote on these types of questions.
The Douglas County School Board is not commenting on this letter from the union attorney.
Two weeks ago, Board President John Carson issued this statement on the reasons why the board may seek this vote:
"This district has been laser focused on promoting student achievement, recruiting world class teachers, and reducing class size," said Carson in the statement. "Standing in the way of these reforms is a union that has shown more interest in protecting the taxpayer-funded salaries of union executives than it has increasing the salaries of teachers, a union that would rather divert cash to politicians and their campaigns than help us reduce class sizes, and a union that is one heck of a lot more interested in defending an antiquated collective bargaining system than it is recruiting and retaining the best teachers in Colorado. And so the school board and a lot of parents and teachers are asking: Is there a better way?"
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