The Douglas County School Board in Colorado voted to sever ties
with the teachers' union. Negotiations will now take place directly
between the teachers and school board members.
A caustic relationship had been building between the board and
the Douglas County Federation of Teachers for years. Ben DeGrow of
Institute talks about just one of the difficulties that led to
the board's action.
"It kind of goes back to last year in the Douglas County school
board program adopting a private school choice for students," he
explains. "The union was working behind the scenes with the ACLU to
thwart that and take away that choice from kids."
DeGrow says this opens up opportunities for the board to seek
new reforms and policies -- and possibilities for teachers as
"Teachers can be treated as professionals, they don't
necessarily need the blue-collar labor model to represent them, and
they still have their professional voices heard," he remarks. "So
this is something that we may be seeing more of in the near
Colorado is only one of nine states where school boards have the
authority to decide whether and how they bargain with teacher