Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado’s teacher shortage highlights need for more school funding, union boss says

Colorado will continue to face a critical teacher shortage unless state leaders make good on their constitutional obligation to increase education funding, the head of Colorado’s largest teacher union says.  “We’re at a crisis point that requires bold action by our legislature,” Colorado Education Association President Amie Baca-Oehlert told The Colorado Sun in an interview […]

Posted inColoradans, COVID, Education, News

“I can’t do this to myself anymore”: Pandemic stress has driven some Colorado teachers to leave the classroom

Diane Santorico was a year shy of completing her third decade as a teacher when the profession that once gave her so much joy nearly stole all of it. She was sick – physically sick – and tired. The first few weeks of school had demanded that she teach in a second-floor classroom baking at […]

Posted inColoradans, COVID, Education, News, Politics and Government

Colorado school board contests, stoked by COVID, draw intense partisan fervor and big money

GRAND JUNCTION — For Paul Pitton, the turning point came the night a mob of irate parents disrupted a Mesa Valley School District 51 board meeting and sent Pitton and his colleagues fleeing through a back door, under police escort.   The 42-year veteran educator later resigned from the school board, rattled by the latest […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Proposition 119: Colorado voters will decide whether to raise marijuana taxes to pay for out-of-school learning

Colorado voters will decide next month whether to raise taxes on recreational marijuana to help fund a new state program aimed at providing Colorado students with out-of-school learning opportunities. The program, called Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress, or LEAP, would pay service providers, like private tutoring companies or even public school teachers looking for extra […]

Posted inColoradans, COVID, Education, News, Politics and Government

Colorado plans to dramatically expand COVID-19 testing in schools next year, even as restrictions go away

Colorado plans to launch a massive, new coronavirus testing program available to schools statewide starting this fall, a measure health officials and educators say is crucial to minimize disruption to the education of kids too young to be vaccinated, particularly as a new Delta variant spreads across the state. Officials at the Colorado Department of […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Colorado education groups split over proposal to raise marijuana taxes to boost out-of-school learning

A battle is brewing over a proposed marijuana tax increase to provide tutoring to mostly low-income students even before it makes the November ballot, dividing educators, lawmakers and community organizations on the best approach to help Colorado’s most vulnerable pupils make academic gains. Advocates are touting Initiative 25 as a solution to closing learning gaps […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

A job or a civic duty? Colorado weighs paying school board members

More than 60% of students in the Roaring Fork School District are Hispanic, but when Jasmin Ramirez was elected in 2019, she and fellow board member Natalie Torres became the first Latinas to serve on the school board. Like all Colorado school board seats, it’s a volunteer position that comes with no pay. That sacrifice […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado lawmakers are creating a fund to raise teacher pay. But they’re not putting any money in it.

When teachers descend on the Colorado Capitol to demand pay raises, they’re often met with a common refrain from state lawmakers: Talk to your districts. That’s because it’s not the legislature that holds the purse strings when it comes to teacher pay. The General Assembly may send millions of dollars to districts, but it’s up […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: As Colorado’s teachers reach a breaking point, we must better fund our schools

When I read reports last month of a Colorado Education Association survey, my response was similar to reacting to a red flag warning, a level-purple COVID-19 alert, and an extreme avalanche warning combined. Alarm and worry.   The survey found that 40% of the educator union’s licensed-teacher members are considering leaving the profession after the 2020-21 […]