DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — After more than a thousand Douglas County teachers called out sick in support of the superintendent, the school board called a special meeting to take action on his job.
According to an agenda posted Thursday evening, the Douglas County Board of Education will meet in executive session to discuss the performance and contract for Superintendent Corey Wise. After that, the agenda calls for action on his contract and the “future direction” of the district.
The meeting announcement came hours after more than a thousand teachers staged a sickout in support of Wise. Some board members had raised the alarm — alleging a possible illegal meeting — after newly elected board members held a private meeting with Wise and pushed for his resignation. The four new board members now form a conservative majority on the body.
Teachers, students and community members rallied Thursday afternoon in support of both the superintendent and of transparency laws that require open meetings for school board actions. They also raised concerns about some of the new board members’ actions, like the private meeting and their changes to the district’s equity policy.
It’s unclear whether the board’s meeting announcement meets the 24-hour notice required before any public meeting is held. The meeting is set for 5 p.m. Friday. The Douglas County School District tweeted about the meeting at 6:14 p.m. Thursday.
School board president responds
Board President Mike Peterson, who’s newly elected to the body and who participated in the private meeting on the superintendent’s job, released this statement Thursday night:
There was an election last November that clearly showed that parents were dissatisfied with the current direction of the school district and the negative impact it has had on our children’s education. For example, 58% of Douglas County students in grades three through six are not proficient in math. Over and over again, and throughout the community, I have heard that parents want change. Tomorrow night, the DCSD Board will have a public discussion about the direction of the school district and how to get our children back on track so they are ready to solve the tough challenges they will face throughout their lives.
I believe our school district must prioritize our students in every decision. However, it appears as though some organizations view Douglas County as some sort of a conquest – a way to ‘take back power’, according to the union. That labor union held our kids hostage by using its power to close our schools, robbing our kids of another day of their education. Today’s cancellation of classes, after all the school that our kids have missed due to COVID and weather, was not an example of putting our kids first, rather it was a classic union tactic. In addition, I want to reassure our teachers and staff that I am committed to supporting all of you.
It also is important to note, because of inaccuracies reported in the media, that at no time, did I or any of the majority board members, violate any laws related to the discussion of any personnel matter. I will conduct tomorrow’s meeting with the grace and respect that any employer-employee conversation should warrant. The union may have other ideas, but I am committed to restoring peace and unity to our school district with a renewed focus on educating our children.Mike Peterson, Douglas County School District Board of Education president
FOX31 has reached out to Wise for comment.