Colorado Teachers Next to Strike


The Thompson School District did not see a surge in teachers absent from the classroom Monday, the day teachers around the state were to meet with legislators at the state Capitol to ask for better school funding and salaries. On March 30, so many teachers staged a "sickout" that 29 school districts were forced to cancel classes because they couldn't find enough substitute teachers.

While the major event will be at the Capitol, there are also dozens of other planned protests throughout Colorado.

You could call Monday "Day 11" of the teacher walkout.

As a result? For one thing, the CEA says, teachers it recently surveyed reported spending an average of $656 yearly on school supplies and expenses for students.

The Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, ranked Colorado 50th, ahead only of Arizona, in how teacher pay compares to that of other college-educated workers. A day they hope will show signs of progress.

Teachers in Colorado earn about $7,000 below the national average of $58,064 a year, according to a survey by the Colorado School Finance Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit education watchdog group. He also stated, "They want to increase their lifestyles".

"It's about the fact that Colorado has the top performing economy in the country, and yet our schools are still funded at or near the bottom", List said.

"This first planned organized activity is to raise awareness", McNamee said. Instead of producing thinkers and intellectuals, we are producing students who rely on rote learning. He said because funding is so low, he feels his students don't have the resources they need to succeed.

But Preist said the efforts by teachers to win more money for education is not over.

Districts across Colorado are participating in walk-ins.

Katrina Ruff, a local Oklahoma City teacher, stood with hundreds of fellow protestors at the Capitol chanting "No funding, no future!"