April 27 action aims to rally public and legislative support for Colorado education funding, currently ranked as 46th lowest in the nation
DENVER – Denver Public School teachers will lead other Colorado teachers in a walkout on April 27 to demonstrate frustration over Colorado’s dismal education funding, currently ranked as 46th in the nation.
The scheduled walkout comes on the heels of today’s Colorado Education Association action, which brought Colorado teachers to the state capitol to protest against proposed changes to PERA (the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association).
“We’re seeing a very strong wave of teacher frustration sweeping across the country,” said Henry Roman, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. “As you can tell from the actions in West Virginia and Oklahoma, teachers are fed up with students lacking educational resources. They’re tired of working for low wages in under-funded school environments that can only be described as woefully inadequate.”
Like teachers across the state, DPS educators routinely struggle to make ends meet, Roman said. Many teachers are forced to acquire second and even third jobs and very often postpone important life decisions like marriage or having children because their financial future is uncertain. In addition, Roman said that a large percentage of Denver’s teachers spend hundreds of dollars a year of their own limited income to provide supplies and educational materials necessary for their classrooms.
“Officials across the country, and specifically lawmakers in the statehouse, must finally recognize that a quality education cannot be provided on the cheap.” Roman said. “Colorado will continue to lose quality teachers to other states that offer education professionals a more stable existence – and our state’s students will be the ones to suffer as a result. If we want Colorado’s current economic prosperity to continue, we need to realize the importance of strong schools.”
The scheduled walkout will occur across Colorado on April 27, with teachers walking off the job and gathering at the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol for a rally for public education funding at 1:30 p.m. DCTA teachers will teach Friday morning and then head to the Capitol for the rally.
DCTA and DPS are currently negotiating a new compensation agreement. Bargaining on the district’s current compensation agreement, ProComp, reached a stalemate at the last Compensation Bargaining session in March. However, days after the stalemate DPS officials agreed to a temporary extension of the current agreement but have not yet returned to the bargaining table.
For more information, contact Corey Kern, DCTA Deputy Executive Director, at 216-224-7372.