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The Teachers’ Movement Spreads

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Colorado is the next state to see teachers revolt.

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.

Colorado–a state that is neither poor nor dominated by right-wing interest, pays its teachers at a rate that makes it 46th in the nation? It compares badly to Wyoming? And it has a nearly unique and sizable tax base in its legal marijuana? This is an obvious action that should work. Colorado does not lack for money, but it does lack for rural teachers, as again, why would someone take that job unless they were determined to live in their small rural hometown on the Plains?

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