Adams 14 School District has two weeks left to find an outside partner to take over direct management of everyday affairs, the State Board of Education ruled.
The Commerce City district was the first in Colorado to lose control of its schools in November. The 13-school district had been on the state’s watch list for eight years for poor student performance.
Since then, Adams 14 been exploring handing over management to a neighboring district, Mapleton. But the deal fell apart when the two districts couldn't settle the details.
The Thursday, April 25 deadline comes with consequences. State Board of Education member Steve Durham said Thursday that if Adams 14 failed to meet the deadline, he would propose converting the district's schools into charter schools.
"We should have stopped the process at that time. This was never a viable option … We allowed this to drag on and in many ways minimized the prospect for success," Durham said.
The board also rejected Adams 14's second proposal, the private company Florida-based MGT Consulting. Members said MGT would not be an appropriate choice because it has not had long-term experience overseeing an entire school district.
A community committee had supported the Mapleton District option because the neighboring district would understand the needs of the high-poverty Adams 14 District, which has many English Language Learners. The committee also said it does not want a for-profit company running the district.
Adams 14 parents like Regina Hurtado told the Adams 14 School Board Tuesday night that their families have endured years of chaos and low performance.
"Each time we do what you ask and participate our voices are never heard, we are never valued and you continue on your path of destruction," Hurtado said.
You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up. The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!