Colorado pushing Denver schools, teachers on negotiations

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DENVER (AP) — The state is pushing Denver schools and teachers to try harder to reach a contract agreement to avoid a strike, saying it's concerned that talks aren't being conducted with "integrity or effectiveness."

In a letter to both sides Monday, the head of the state labor department, Joe Barela, said the last round turned into "political theater" and said it's also troubling that there is a lack of mutual understanding of the facts and costs of the competing proposals. He suggested two possible reasons for the state to intervene — to keep negotiations focused on resolving issues in the union contract and to compel both sides to participate in more comprehensive fact finding.

Barela requested that both sides meet with Gov. Jared Polis this week before he decides whether to intervene.

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