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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s largest school district is facing a $65 million shortfall due to General Assembly budget cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova sent a letter to the Denver Classroom Teacher Association President Tiffany Choi Tuesday, explaining the unprecedented circumstances.

Colorado faces a $3.3 billion revenue shortfall for the coming school financial year, leading to an 5.3% gap in the district’s budget.

Cordova is asking to open negotiations for their deal for fiscal year 2020-2021. This comes more than a year after the union and DPS agreed on a new contract. 

According to the letter, the district is asking to reopen provisions for the coming school year’s salaries and benefits, saying, “we must take this step to address this unprecedented budgetary shortfall.”

The full letter is below:

Wednesday afternoon, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association issued the following statement:

DCTA recognizes that in the wake of a pandemic and economic crisis, everyone will need to make sacrifices, and we are willing to go to the bargaining table to have this discussion about what is best for our students. It is unfortunate that DPS so far has only proposed using $10 million of the Cares Act money and no reserves money to cover the budget shortfall for next year.