TEN Parent Testimonies: We need creative solutions to this education crisis.

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Today, the State Board of Education heard testimony submitted last month from parents outlining their experiences with remote learning and their concerns about supporting their students through learning disruptions.

To the Colorado State Board of Education and Commissioner Anthes,

Members of the Board of Education,

I am a proud mother of three boys and a parent leader with Transform Education Now . I love my kids more than you can imagine, which is why I am taking the time to write this to the State Board of Education today. I am struggling with remote learning. Right before the COVID outbreak hit Colorado and closed school, my son was in the process of being evaluated for an individualized learning plan. He was behind before this learning disruption. And now, more than ever before, I am concerned that he will fall further and further behind. I am not receiving the services that I need to support him through his school. I have built a pod, that I am paying for, with my savings to help support their learning, but the truth is, I can’t sustain this without some kind of financial support.

I am a single mother, who is trying to balance remote learning plus working to pay our bills and it is hard. I wish I could hire a tutor for him and get him set up with the resources that he needs to catch up while he is at home. The state should be providing parents with some type of stipend- our schools aren’t working- why can’t we provide families with financial support as we navigate this? I know other states are doing this. In North Carolina, the state legislature is providing families with money so that they can directly support their students’ learning during this unprecedented moment- why can’t Colorado do something like this? If I am just being really honest, I don’t feel like I am receiving the services that I should be from my school and I know that our schools get money per student that attends. I love my school and I want to support it, but I also love my son more and I know that he would be better off if I was provided with financial resources to directly support his learning.

Thank you,

Joanna Saenz


My name is Rosemary Alfaro and I am the parent of multiple students across Denver Public Schools. I am here today because our schools and students are facing a real emergency. Since March we have had to endure and adjust, and make due with a constant changing environment and a flood of contradictory information, and the ones who are suffering the consequences are our children.

Our students are struggling both in “classes” and out of them. Many students are struggling to learn and are falling behind. I have heard stories of young students who are three years behind where they should be and their school is not offering any plan or any support to make sure that they catch up, they are telling their parents that it is their responsibility to catch their child up. Why wasnt this addressed years ago? Why are we just learning about this now? And why isnt anyone else stepping up to support this student and ensure that they have what they need to succeed?

Remote learning is not working, parents need more, they need more consistent, and clear information, they need support ensuring that their children have the chance to learn, and they need additional resources for their kids. That includes mental health support. It is not normal for our kids to be in front of a screen, away from their teachers, separated from their friends, they need our help and your commitment to ensure that they will be supported, cared for and have the opportunity to be successful. We need your leadership, it is your responsibility to serve the needs of kids across our state and now more than ever we need courageous leadership to do the hard things for our kids.

Thank you.

Rosemary Alfaro


Hola me llamo Silvia Soy un padre líder con T.E.N y soy una mamá que ha estado tratando de apoyar a mi hija a través del aprendizaje remoto. Sirvo el almuerzo todos los días en una escuela de las Escuelas Públicas de Denver y tratar de equilibrar mi trabajo y el aprendizaje de mi hija ha sido muy difícil. Mi hija tiene un IEP y estoy realmente preocupado de que se esté quedando atrás durante el aprendizaje remoto. También estoy muy nerviosa por enviarla de regreso a la escuela en un momento en que vemos que las tasas de COVID aumentan en todo nuestro estado y en todo el país. Siento que me están poniendo en un dilema imposible: enviar a mi hija de regreso a la escuela y correr el riesgo de que se enferme o de que alguien de mi familia se enferme o se quede en casa y se arriesgue a que se retrase y no pueda trabajar. Esta no es una pregunta justa para los padres. ¿Por qué el estado no puede crear una mejor solución? ¿Por qué son estas nuestras únicas dos opciones? ¿Por qué no se puede pagar a los padres si educamos a nuestros hijos en casa?

Mi hija ha estado en una grupo de aprendizaje, eso no es apoyado por el sistema escolar y le va bien allí, pero no podemos seguir haciéndolo, porque no tenemos los medios para hacerlo. El estado debería ayudar a los padres a formar entornos de aprendizaje pequeños y seguros que apoyen a los estudiantes individuales y sus planes de aprendizaje.

Silvia Estala-Monreal