Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Colorado teachers push for more school funding

Teachers met inside the capitol to discuss a way forward for the strike Teachers met inside the capitol to discuss a way forward for the strike
Kenny Thornton | 17 April, 2018, 10:00

Teachers said they won't stay silent and sit on the sidelines any longer.

Every red-clad teacher we spoke to inside the Colorado State Capitol Monday said they would rather be in the classroom than protesting for better pay, school funding and protections for their pensions, but they felt what they were doing would ultimately benefit students in the long run.

Englewood School District, outside the capital city, announced on Sunday that schools would be closed the following day as 70 percent of its teachers had indicated they wouldn't be working Monday.

The Pendleton School Board of Directors recently approved a policy that establishes a team-oriented approach to support teachers as they reach out to the traumatized students in their classrooms. Many teachers all over the country have been coming together on Facebook and planning strikes and "walk ins".

Teachers in general have multiple jobs and can't afford to live where they work, said Roman, who had to wait tables for his first five years as a teacher. If implemented the measure would raise about $US1.6 billion by increasing the state corporate tax rate and income taxes for people who earn more than $150,000 a year.

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Low funding and teacher pay, the association says, is making the job less attractive to college graduates and prodding teachers to leave the profession early, and led to a shortage of fully qualified teachers.

Some teachers told CBS4 they are exhausted of having to take time away from the classroom to rally and fix the numerous issues within public education.

The state's largest teacher's union is also opposing proposed changes to the pension system for teachers and other public employees. If passed, it would mean big changes for the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). "We need a viable profession".

Sauk Rapids Police Chief Perry Beise says the boy randomly cut three children at Pleasantview Elementary School on Monday morning, then went into the office and set the knife down. Extrapolating that to the full association, members may be spending as much as $23 million per year out of pocket, according to its website.

"We can't do that anymore", she said.

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