Denver labor groups have started organizing, hoping to join a national movement of cities trying to get back money lost to banks in complex financial swaps.
To raise funds to plug holes in its pension fund, in 2008 Denver Public Schools signed onto a set of complex derivatives swaps. The deal went sour when the financial crisis struck. Since then, the district has paid millions of dollars in interest and termination fees. Other school districts across the country are pushing back.
"After we saw a few success stories across the nation, there was a movement and people reaching out and us working with other coalitions across the country to start to mobilize getting public money back," said Patrick McHenry with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association.
About 200 teachers in the Denver area have signed on to press the Denver school board on the issue at its April 23 meeting.