A scene in rural Park County, near Kenosha Pass, on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

By Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado

Educators in the Park County Re-2 school district have set a strike date of Oct. 14.

Teachers in the Fairplay-based district have had legal permission to strike since late September, but they initially put off a decision on a date to see if negotiations between the district and union representatives might yield a deal. If Park County teachers walk off the job, it would be Colorado’s third teacher strike in less than 18 months.

The last time the two sides met formally was Aug. 23. The district decided not to participate in talks that had been scheduled for Sept. 14.

The decision to announce a strike date raises the stakes for negotiations currently set for Wednesday.

“SPEA members are skeptical at best that Wednesday’s meeting will be productive, if it happens at all,” South Park Education Association President Taya Mastrobuono said in a press release. “We reached a decision together that it is necessary to announce our strike date before the scheduled Wednesday meeting to put the district on notice that its stalling tactics do not work from this point forward.”

School board President Kim Bundgaard said she was not aware of the decision before a reporter contacted her. “I am stunned,” she wrote in an email.

Read more at chalkbeat.org.

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization covering schools and education. The news organization believes education is a local issue, and roots its coverage in local communities. Chalkbeat reports from and about eight locations: Colorado, Chicago,...