Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland, October 29, 2015

Thompson School District R2-J Superintendent, Dr. Stan Scheer, is flaunting the Colorado Court of
Appeals’ authority by refusing to comply with the court’s recent order that an injunction by a
lower court to uphold an expired agreement with the teacher’s union while they litigate against
the District is invalid.  Scheer apparently disagrees with the court’s recent decision so is now
refusing to comply with the court’s ruling and his own Board’s wishes which authorized the appeal.

Scheer is reported to believe the teacher union sponsored candidates will prevail in the upcoming
November 3, election so is gambling the new board will capitulate to the union’s demands likely at
its very first meeting.  LovelandPolitics has been informed the professional staff at the District was
asked to prepare for such an event thus limiting Scheer’s exposure of ignoring the court to the
shortest possible time.  If the union fails to take control of the Board of Education, Scheer faces
possible disciplinary action for failing to comply with the elected board not to mention legal
ramifications for ignoring a court ruling.

Judges Michael Berger and Anthony Navarro of the Colorado Court of Appeals made clear in their
October 22, ruling that the teacher’s union which goes by the name Thompson Education
Association (TEA) cannot force the Board of Education to continue subsidizing the union under an
agreement that expired last summer just because they are suing to unilaterally extend the
agreement referred to commonly as the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding).

The District has made a strong showing, according to the court, that they will prevail in the lawsuit
not to mention the fact the union is seeking a remedy the court feels is not a legal remedy,

“…that the remedy presently requested by TEA — that the parties must take a new ratification
vote on a tentative 2015-16 MOU but the School Board members would be allowed to vote not to
ratify only for certain reasons — is not a legally permissible form of equitable relief that could
be awarded by the district court after a trial on the merits.”

In other words, the teacher’s union cannot use a court of law to limit the discretionary authority of
an elected board of education.  The Colorado Court of Appeals went on to say it was the decision of
two of the three judges who reviewed the case that on the merits of the overall case, the District
will likely prevail thus ordering a stay in the lower court’s ruling.

The Practical Impact

While the MOU does represent the terms of collective bargaining done on behalf of the teachers by
the union, the District Board has decided already to honor the contracts so that is not the issue

Instead, the TEA is worried about losing its income and taxpayer subsidies for its leadership
salaries since those elements of the MOU are emphatically opposed by a majority of the Board of
Education and without the MOU in place there is no legal means to continue the subsidies.

Every month the Thompson School District (R2-J) deducts union dues from approximately 60% of
the over 900 teacher paychecks for the TEA which it sends to the union in payments of around
$50,000 per month.    If the union were required to collect its own dues (instead of voluntary
payroll deductions by the District) than members could decide whether or not to pay their dues
each month plus the administrative cost of collecting the dues would fall on the teacher’s union
instead of the cash-strapped school district.

TEA President Andy Crisman is fighting to stay out of the classroom while continuing to receive full
time pay from the District which is only allowed under the now long expired agreement (MOU).  
Crisman has been busy lately helping to coordinate his candidate’s campaigns and participate in
political events of union candidates for school board.

This little known artifact of the now long expired MOU TEA sued to keep in place is no longer valid.  
Nonetheless,   Crisman continues to receive his annual compensation of $64,578.70 but doesn’t
have to teach on a full time basis to receive his salary thanks to Scheer ignoring both his board and
Colorado Court of Appeals.  Instead, Crisman is allowed, per the MOU, to spend his days advancing
TEA causes while receiving compensation as if he were still in the classroom full-time.

Per the court’s clear order, that agreement is long expired and no longer an obligation of the
District.  While the union does backfill the cost of his benefits and some salary, he remains in name
only, a full time teacher.  The MOU even mandates the District create a false annual review for the
elected President pretending that individual taught full-time during the year thus accruing all the
benefits, seniority and pay of colleagues who did indeed teach full-time during the year.

Despite the court's clear ruling, Scheer is allowing  Crisman to continue his absences from his
classroom while the Thompson School District must backfill the position with substitute teachers.  
Crisman is actively working on the campaigns of the Board of Education candidates sponsored by
his union, Jeff Swanty, Pam Howard, Denise Montagu, and Dave Levy.  From 2012 until 2014,
Crisman’s predecessor Laurie Bezjak-Shearer collected her annual compensation of $72,375.63
while also playing local politics while the District was forced to pay for another teacher to cover
her classes.

Despite the Colorado Court of Appeals ruling, Scheer has failed to halt any of the subsidies to the
TEA afforded under the expired MOU.   Scheer is said to be confident the union candidates will
prevail so has prepared an extension of the current MOU as a first order of business after the
election.  In the meantime, Scheer is not allowing a meeting of the current board to avoid a
confrontation with the elected officials whose direction, by law, he is required to honor.
R2-J Superintendent
Defies Court Ruling

Who Will Control The Board?
(TEA Sponsored Candidates in red)

Not up for re-election are Districts B,
E and F; only 1 seat is controlled by
the TEA while the other 2 by reform

To regain control of the board and
put another bond issue on the ballot
while renewing the teacher's MOU,
TEA will need to gain 3 of the 4 open

Their reform opposition will need to
prevail in only 2 of the 4 open seats
to regain their 4 member majority on
the 7 member board.

District A
Jeff Swanty
Aimie Randall

District B
Bryce Carlson

District C
Denise Montagu
Vance Hansen

District D
Pam Howard
Tomi Grundvig

District E
Lori Hvizda-Ward

District F
Carl Langner

District G
Bruce Finger
Dave Levy