Press Release: Educators Back Dedicated State Fund for Professional Pay

  SB-089 Educator Pay Raise Fund Bill seeks to address low pay, improve retention with guaranteed dollars for educator salaries

DENVER – State Sen. Jessie Danielson today introduced Senate Bill 089 which creates a dedicated incentive fund for resources specifically allocated for educator pay. This fund will assist school districts in increasing their minimum educator salaries and wages, prioritizing districts with the highest need.

“This is real action that will help local districts attract and retain great educators in our classrooms,” said Sen. Danielson, who represents Jefferson County. “Doing right by teachers is how we do right by our students.”

While Colorado’s economy is thriving, starting teacher pay here lags at 47th place in the nation. The 38,000 members of the Colorado Education Association stated in their State of Education report that pushing the legislature to find avenues to allocate more funding to public education is the main priority for Colorado educators during this legislative session.

“Frustrated educators, many who work two to three jobs just to make ends meet, have time and again seen new dollars go to outside education consultants or for-profit testing and management companies, instead of seeing deserved increases in their paychecks,” said CEA President Amie Baca-Oehlert, a high school counselor.

Creating the Educator Pay Raise Fund has the potential to help thousands of educators stay in the profession. Students thrive with a stable, supportive educators at school, but with Colorado experiencing a massive educator shortage and a significant decline in young people going into the education profession, educators say that is not in the best interest of students.

“The legislature needs to ensure increased education funding will directly translate to valuing the role of educators in our students’ lives and compensating them as professionals,” Baca-Oehlert added. “If we value education, we can find the resources to provide professional, sustainable pay for all educators. Our legislature can send a strong message that the education profession matters to Colorado’s success by passing Senate Bill 89.”

Educators seeking a livable wage have public opinion on their side: three-quarters of Americans support raising educator pay (the highest level of support in a decade) and 76% of Coloradans think teacher pay falls short (up from 51% in 2011).

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