Dear KCOL Soapbox; 

My wife is currently a teacher at Bella Romero K-8 school in Greeley, CO. She is a teacher with 10 years of experience and 2 years at this school. She has a Masters degree in education and a Bachelors in Psychology.  She has worked hard to pursue her passion of teaching children.    

Bella Romero is a public school made up of about 90% Hispanic children. Many of the families that enroll their children are migrant workers who travel back and forth to Mexico. There is a high poverty rate and high gang influx within this community.  Most of the children are Spanish speaking, and are attending this school to learn via the English language.  It is a normal occurrence for a child to leave at certain times of the year to Mexico, sometimes for weeks at a time, and then return to resume where they left off. This creates a terrible strain on the teaching staff. 

Two months ago there was a meeting between the employees and the district/school board. At this meeting, the employees were informed that there would be a combining of schools due to the lopsided attendance between two schools in the district.  Due to this combining, there would be approximately 15% of job loss. Two weeks later there was another meeting where this number went up to 40-50% and it was revealed that there is a charter school (Salida Del Sol) that was approved (by the school board) to be built. The new charter school will be recruiting up to 50% of the kids that are currently enrolled in Bella Romero and surrounding schools, thus the real reason for the job loss.

The employees have been told that their positions will be open to the public for interview. They are welcome to interview for their current position but will be given no favoritism.  Up to 50% will not be asked back.  

So, you would say exactly what I am thinking here - "Go apply at the new school right?!! This should actually be creating more jobs, right?" Well the new charter school does not hold to a pay scale accepted by the district, and therefore pays quite a bit less. Furthermore has a requirement that its employees be BILINGUAL (or Spanish speaking). This school is funded by government aid, just like a public school, but [the charter school] does not have to adhere to the same guidelines! 

I was shocked to find out that this could happen. I feel like my wife and the employees of Bella Romero have been sorely rewarded for their hard work at this school and within the community.   

My wife is a hard working, educated, professional who is an ENGLISH speaking American Citizen.  She teaches in English.  She teaches the Spanish children how to speak and learn in English.  Is this not the Goal?   What am I missing?? 

My wife will not be able to teach at this new school, for less money, because she does not speak Spanish. My wife will most likely lose her job. 

Thank you,