Screen-Shot-2017-11-16-at-8.42.52-PM.png

Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 17, 20172min221
Union workers are expected to march on Xcel Energy’s headquarters at 18th and Larimer streets at lunchtime Friday. IBEW Local 111 Xcel Energy Employees said Thursday evening that the unionists would “be joined by community leaders, retirees, elected officials and their families” to protest a company decision in their contract they say will reduce wages […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


170630-img-3584-ac-914p_4fc02a9891cbd9ce55de6e58d3cfad51.nbcnews-ux-600-700.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 17, 20173min290
When the Center for American Progress sees cuts in the Republican tax plan, the left-leaning organization sees Littleton’s Kelly Stahlman, a “Medicaid mom” raising twin sons with cerebral palsy. The center is touting new research that shows the cost of healthcare cuts at the local level, to families such as the Stahlmans. She first told […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


wana-dubie-1.jpg

Jessica MachettaNovember 17, 20178min324
Pot activist and perennial candidate for statewide office in Missouri, Chief Wana Dubie has journeyed to his final resting place, Pikes Peak, the first place he ever smoked a legal joint, although the act of smoking it there was probably illegal. Born Joseph Bickell in Flint, Mich., he had his named legally changed to Wana […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


Jason-Crow-DSC-W.jpg

Ernest LuningErnest LuningNovember 17, 20178min2980

Jason Crow, one of three Democrats running for the chance to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the 6th Congressional District, was one of 11 candidates nationwide named this week to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s "Red to Blue" program, which provides fundraising and organizational support in districts the party organization hopes to flip in next year's midterm election.


Cary-Kennedy-Saurabh-Mangalik-2-W.jpg

Ernest LuningErnest LuningNovember 17, 201712min760

Cary Kennedy loves this place. Over there is a field where she played high school sports, and there’s the cross-country course her daughter runs. She grew up nearby, attending Manual High School. Off in the distance, catching the sun, that’s the gold dome of the state Capitol, where she spent four years as state treasurer, and before that worked as policy director for the House Democrats.



Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsNovember 16, 20171min104
The Colorado Petroleum Council issued the following statement regarding the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Quality Control Commission’s new rule. “Our industry continues to focus on our commitment to responsible development of energy resources in a manner consistent with protection of the environment, public health and safety,” said Colorado Petroleum Council Executive […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


Devos-1280x925.jpg

Lisa WaltonNovember 16, 20175min8710

Jennifer and Joe, a Douglas County couple whose teenage son attends a private school for students with autism, don’t want to be portrayed as a school choice success story.

But that’s exactly how they feel they were represented during a high-profile visit to the Denver school this fall by the nation’s top education official, Betsy DeVos.

The U.S. secretary of education, known for her support of charter schools and private school vouchers, didn’t name the Douglas County couple during her September speech to reporters, parents and school staff. But she talked about the landmark special education case they’d brought against their suburban Denver school district — the same district embroiled in a separate court battle over its plan to offer private school vouchers.

She described how the couple had pulled their son Endrew out of public school and placed him at Firefly Autism House, where he’d thrived.

“The district essentially dared them to sue, so they did and they won,” DeVos told the audience. “Endrew’s parents showed courage in rejecting the low bar set for their son.”

DeVos never mentioned vouchers directly, but her plug for school choice — with Joe, Jennifer and their son Endrew as protagonists — was clear.

“Every family should have that ability to choose the learning environment that’s right for their child,” she said. “They shouldn’t have to sue their way to the Supreme Court to get it.”

Jennifer and Joe, who asked that their last name not be used to protect their family’s privacy, said in an interview with Chalkbeat that DeVos used their case to further her school choice agenda.

“To hold us out there as a poster child on how a private school is working for our child and how this is how school choice is supposed to work, really bugs me,” Joe said.

“It was a little disappointing,” Jennifer said. “She picked the parts that she liked and used them for what she wanted.”

Liz Hill, U.S. Department of Education press secretary, responded via email to a request for DeVos’s response to Jennifer and Joe’s concerns.

She wrote, “Secretary DeVos appreciates and admires the courageous commitment Endrew F’s parents demonstrated to ensure their son received an education that met his individual and unique needs. They are but one of thousands of families across the nation who are fighting to get a better education for their children. The secretary stands with all parents who want the best for their children.”

With the recent election of four Douglas County school board candidates who oppose vouchers, it’s likely the district’s voucher program will never launch. Still, DeVos has voiced support for expanding voucher programs and putting federal funds toward them.

DeVos’s public words were particularly hard to take, Jennifer and Joe said, because they had met with the education secretary privately at her request. They were flattered by her interest, but felt she didn’t understand why private school vouchers would never work for them — or many other families who have children with disabilities.

First, the dollar amount of most voucher programs is paltry compared to what it costs to pay for specialized private schools like Firefly. Tuition there is more than $70,000 a year.

“Say, there was a voucher system in place and let’s pick $5,000.” Jennifer said. “That’s not enough for placement at Firefly. It doesn’t do anything.”

Jennifer and Joe, who own a company that sells industrial equipment, pay around half of Firefly’s tuition and their health insurance pays the rest, they said.

A 2016 report from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, a national membership organization, highlighted the potential for such inequities.

“Voucher funding is rarely sufficient and generally does not cover the full cost of the child’s education, meaning that only parents with adequate finances truly have a choice,” the report states.



Associated PressAssociated PressNovember 16, 20171min1820
LA JUNTA A man recently elected to a school board in southern Colorado served more than a decade in prison in North Carolina for murder.

Tom Seaba told KKTV this week that he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for shooting and killing a fellow Marine in 1997. Seaba says he made “a set of horrific mistakes” and has worked in his hometown of La Junta, Colo. since being released.

Colorado law says anyone convicted of sexual offenses against a child is ineligible for school board seats but doesn’t mention other convictions. State law says people with felony convictions can vote after completing their sentence, including parole.

According to North Carolina prison records, Seaba was released in March 2010 after serving nearly 13 years in prison. He was on parole until December 2010.