Educators demand action, Apr. 26 & 27

THOUSANDS TO MARCH ON STATE CAPITOL
Using personal and vacation time to call for increased funding for public education

DENVER – Eighth graders today have never been in a fully funded public school system because since 2009, Colorado has failed to fund schools by $6.6 billion. Educators around Colorado and the country are saying “Enough!” On Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27, thousands of educators will descend on the Colorado State Capitol to call for more state funding and a fix to PERA.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, April 26
9 a.m. – Lobby Day at the Capitol
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Action in Civic Center
1:30 p.m. – Rally, West Steps of State Capitol

Friday, April 27
9 a.m. – Lobby Day at the Capitol
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Action in Civic Center
2 p.m. – Rally, West Steps of State Capitol

Please contact the CEA communications team at commdesk@coloradoea.org to arrange an interview with an educator. A media center will be set up near the West Steps of the State Capitol by the cannon for interviews and information during the events.

“Now is the time to build on Colorado’s economic growth and focus on a future where all Colorado families and communities can thrive. We need to make sure we have great public schools in all our communities, where every child has the opportunity to succeed,” said Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association. “We have great public schools throughout Colorado. Together, we can create strong neighborhood public schools in every community in our state.”

“Douglas County Federation (DCF) is proud to be marching with JCEA. Thousands of Colorado teachers are in the classroom educating children every day and we need money for protractors, history books, whiteboards, and other materials,” said Palmer Heogh, a math teacher at Highlands Ranch High School. “Teachers spend hundreds of their own dollars for their students’ supplies each year. Doctors don’t pay for their scalpels; it’s about time we don’t have to pay for our markers.”

School Districts Closed:

April 26:

  • Jeffco
  • Lake County
  • Douglas County
  • Clear Creek

April 27:

  • Denver
  • Poudre
  • St. Vrain
  • School District 27J
  • Adams 12
  • Thompson
  • Cherry Creek
  • CO Springs- D11
  • Pueblo 70 (four-day week, no school fridays)
  • Eagle (on spring break)
  • Steamboat (on spring break)
  • Harrison*
  • Ellicott
  • Greeley-Evans
  • Mapleton*
  • Widefield
  • Westminster*
  • Canon City
  • Littleton
  • Summit County
  • Boulder Valley
  • Aurora
  • Adams 14
  • Manitou Springs
  • Sheridan
  • Academy 20
  • Weld RE-1
  • Ft Lupton (Weld-8)
  • Johnstown-Milliken (RE-5J)

*A teacher work day was previously scheduled but where we are expecting educators to attend.

Note: Other school districts are doing turnouts of individual educators and/or planning walk-ins.

Why Are Educators Taking Action

We have great public schools in Colorado, but in too many communities we are not giving schools the resources they need for every child to succeed. To be sure that we can attract and retain high quality educators to Colorado, we must prioritize education funding so that educators can support their families and contribute to our communities and our children can reach their full potential.

In order to have the schools Colorado students deserve, we call on legislators to:
Fund our schools. Our schools are currently underfunded by $822 million and are $2,700 below the national average in per-pupil funding. The positive state revenue forecast clearly demonstrates that there is substantially more money available this year and therefore we can and must do a better job funding our schools. This must be a top budget priority. Specifically, the legislature must:

  • Restore and increase education funding – make a down payment on the budget stabilization factor (also known as the negative factor) of at least $150 million this year and pay it off by 2022.
  • Commit to reducing or freezing corporate tax breaks of all kinds until school funding is restored and per-pupil funding reaches the national average.
  • Join us in supporting Initiative 93 – Great Schools Thriving Communities – that will raise $1.6 billion annually in support of public education, while 92 percent of taxpayers will not see an increase in their taxes.

Support the amended version of SB 18-200 and commit to a secure retirement for educators and public employees. Colorado students’ success depends on a stable teaching profession. A weakened retirement program will further exacerbate the educator shortage and will incentivize churn of educators over longevity. We must have a secure retirement in order to encourage people to go into the education profession and stay for a full career. While we are supporting the amended version of this bill that passed out of House Finance, it is still not sufficient for a secure retirement, and we must continue to explore ways to increase the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for current retirees.