Press Release: CEA Cancels Statewide Day of Action, March 19, Over COVID-19 Virus Concerns

Educators will continue to visit Capitol weekly to raise awareness of low pay, school funding with legislators

DENVER – The Colorado Education Association will cancel its Day of Action at the Capitol, scheduled for Thursday, March 19, because of mounting public health concerns over the spreading of the COVID-19 virus.

“Be assured this difficult decision was made out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety and welfare of our students, members and families,” said CEA President Amie Baca-Oehlert, a high school counselor. “We closely monitored guidance from health officials at the federal and state level throughout this process. Though no official guidance was given to us to restrict public gatherings such as our Day of Action, we don’t want to contribute in any way to the anxiety people are experiencing during this troubling health crisis.”

More than 5,000 educators and public education supporters were expected to attend the Day of Action to rally for the schools our students deserve. The educators were taking personal time off from school to protest Colorado having the least competitive educator pay in the country and continuing to make deep cuts to school funding (through the budget stabilization factor), even though Colorado has one of the most powerful state economies in the country.

“Despite our cancellation, lawmakers must feel urgency to take bold action during this session to keep quality educators in our classrooms and to ensure our students have the resources and supports they need to thrive,” added Baca-Oehlert. “Raising educator compensation across the state remains our top legislative priority. Our members will continue to visit the Capitol in smaller numbers every week during CEA Lobby Days to share our stories of the critical resources denied to our students, and the extreme difficulties educators have making a decent living in this state.”

In the coming days, CEA will roll out plans to have a “virtual” day of action March 19 to offer educators, parents, students and public education supporters the opportunity to participate and have a powerful impact at the legislature from home.

Educators will also continue to raise awareness of the Fair Tax Colorado ballot measure (Initiative 271), another focal point of the Day of Action, which if passed, could raise $1 billion to support educator recruitment, retention and pay.

Download CEA’s State of Education report for context on the detrimental impacts of Colorado’s chronic underfunding of our public schools. Contact Mike Wetzel, CEA public relations director, at mwetzel@coloradoea.org or 720-454-5729 to connect with educators who have attended or will attend CEA Lobby Days during this legislative session.

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