COMMERCE CITY, Colo – Last night, the Adams 14 School Board denied a contract for University Prep, depriving the kids of Commerce City of access to a high-quality education.
On December 14, 2021, the Adams 14 School Board voted to approve the charter application of University Prep to open a public charter school within the district. But now, over 300 days later, the school board has reversed course and denied a contract without providing any rationale or justification at the board meeting.
University Prep currently operates two high-quality public charter schools in Denver, which serve some Adams 14 students whose parents choose to drive them across school district lines to give them access to a better education.
University Prep has worked for nearly two years with families and community leaders across Commerce City to design a charter school that would best serve Commerce City student needs in their own community and are hoping to open the school in the fall of 2023.
“This is a slap in the face of Commerce City families who have been deprived of access to a high-quality education for their children,” said Brenda Dickhoner, President of Ready Colorado, an education reform advocacy organization. “The school board had an opportunity, if not an outright moral obligation, to give families access to a better option for their children. With less than 14% of Adams 14 students reading on grade level and less than 6% of students proficient in math, denying University Prep’s contract is beyond comprehension. Families across Commerce City deserve better than adults blocking their children from accessing a high-quality education. Shame on the Adams 14 School Board.”
Adams 14 has been on the state accountability clock for 12 years because of the school district’s chronically low performance, recently causing the State Board of Education to order a reorganization of the district.
Families have been so frustrated by the failures of the Adams 14 school district, that parents of over 3,000 Adams 14 kids take their children to public schools in nearby districts.
To bring attention to the long journey University Prep and Commerce City parents have been on to co-design a U Prep school for the Adams 14 community, Ready Colorado is releasing today an 8-minute documentary.
This professionally produced documentary gives an inside view into the genuine desire parents have for their kids to have better educational opportunities, and the real heartbreak of having a district turn its back on its own families.
There is also a version with Spanish subtitles –