Above: Teachers in Colorado will be walking out protesting lack of education funding. Photo above are Kentucky teachers on strike over pensions. From the Louisville Courier-Journal
Teacher walkouts in Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and elsewhere have dominated the news as of late.
Now a walkout is planned for Colorado.
Englewood Schools announced Thursday classes will be cancelled Monday as teachers head to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers for reform.
“We are calling Monday April 16th a day of action,” Kerrie Dallman, President of the Colorado Education Association, said.
Dallman expects 400 plus teachers to be on hand Monday as they lobby lawmakers for change.
Some of the demands will be higher wages, a $150 million investment in school funding, as well as the protection of retiree benefits. The CEA does not like a proposal to raise the retirement age from 58 to 65 in order to stabilize PERA.
“We have teachers working second jobs,” Dollman said.
“We have one teacher in Jefferson County who leaves school each day and goes and works as a dental hygienist,” Dallman added.
Controversy with teacher pay in Colorado is not a new issue.
According to the National Education Association, Colorado ranks 46th in teacher pay with the average teacher making $46,000 a year. Some rural Colorado teachers make less than $30,000.
For comparison nearby Wyoming teachers make $58,000.
Englewood parents are supportive of the teachers’ movement but some say the cancellation of class creates headaches.
“I hope their voices are heard,” Julie Hoag, an Englewood parent said.
“I know there has been some frustration just from what I have heard – a lot of working parents – it’s hard to find child care last minute,” Hoag said.