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Colorado Edition: On The Hook

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Amanda Peacher
/
Mountain West News Bureau
Volunteer wilderness stewards like Joyce Fabre, above, are a critical part of wilderness education, especially when managers have limited budgets for paid staff.

Today on Colorado Edition: we’ll hear about the ballot question that asks voters about whether or not Colorado should have a statewide paid family leave program. We also learn about childcare shortages, and a newly created principal's union. Finally, we’ll look at a volunteer wilderness ranger program.

Paid Family Leave

Democrats at the state Capitol have tried for years to create a paid family and medical leave program. But concerns from small businesses and Gov. Jared Polis have kept it from becoming law. Now it’s among 11 questions that voters will get to decide in November. KUNC’s Scott Franz has more on who would benefit from a new leave program — and those who are fighting against it.

Dwindling Childcare

Last April, the Center for American Progress estimated that just over half of Colorado’s childcare slots could be permanently lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, more than six months into COVID-19, we thought it was time to check in with the childcare industry.

Kristi Koltiska joined us to talk about how these predictions have played out. She is executive director of the Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado.

Principals Union

In the world of education, unions can serve to unite workers toward common goals, teaming up for better negotiating power when it comes salary or even whether they can strike if they want to. But a newly recognized union in Denver isn’t made up of teachers — it’s for principals. And last week, Denver school board members voted 6-1 to recognize the new principals union, called the Denver School Leaders Association.

Melanie Asmar, from Chalkbeat Colorado, has been reporting on the union and joined us with more.

Volunteer Wilderness Rangers

The U.S. Forest Service has faced budget cuts and underfunding for years. So, with the agency’s blessing, around 200 conservation groups around the country have created volunteer wilderness ranger programs to help patrol the backcountry. But are volunteers a good substitute for funding full-time staff? Amanda Peacher reports for the Mountain West News Bureau.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman, and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. KUNC news director Brian Larson is our executive producer. We get production help from Rae Solomon.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with a rebroadcast of the previous evening's show Tuesday through Friday at 8:30 a.m.

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