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 […]

Posted inColoradans, COVID, Education, News

Colorado teacher salaries rank well below the national average. The recession is likely to keep them there.

When Jan Vigil bought a used truck from his brother-in-law about seven years ago, it had already seen 170,000 miles of road. His odometer now reads 229,000 miles. The Center High School history teacher, 33, purchased the vehicle because it was affordable. He and his wife, who teaches English at Sangre De Cristo High School […]

Posted inElection 2020, Opinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Prop. 116 would only worsen the severe lack of school funding in Colorado

Over the past six months, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, and at a time when the state budget has been decimated by COVID-19, a Republican-backed measure to shrink Colorado’s tax revenue by more than $400 million over the next three years is flat-out irresponsible. Proposition 116, a ballot measure […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Thousands of teachers applied to Colorado’s new educator loan forgiveness program. But only 100 spots are available.

Cañon City Schools social worker Shantell Lynch considers herself lucky that 15 years after she earned her master’s degree, she has only $35,000 in student loans left to pay off. Some of her colleagues are carrying as much as $100,000 in education debt. Still, it’s a heavy weight for Lynch, 51, who became an educator […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Treating educators with dignity and respect starts with paying them a decent wage

Colorado educators are painfully underpaid. Thousands of them work second or third jobs just to make ends meet. Many struggle to keep a roof over their head and are saddled with crushing debt. Countless others are driven out of the profession permanently. In fact, Colorado public schools are facing a crisis as increasing turnover rates […]

Posted inNews, Politics and Government

Here are the big ideas that Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado lawmakers pitched for the 2020 session

By Erica Breunlin, Jennifer Brown, Moe Clark, John Ingold and Jesse PaulThe Colorado Sun From mental health to teacher pay, Colorado’s leaders are exploring innovative ideas to tackle the state’s biggest challenges. Gov. Jared Polis and four state lawmakers pitched their ideas Tuesday at the Big Ideas Forum hosted by The Colorado Sun, CBS4 and […]

Posted inEducation, News

With a 15.7% average pay increase post-strike, more Denver teachers returned to work

Far more Denver teachers returned to the classroom this fall than in previous years, a retention boost that district officials attribute to pay increases won after a teacher strike last year. But because veteran teachers tend to make more money than new hires, the higher retention means the district is paying more in teacher salaries than it […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Politics and Government

Republicans put education atop their priority list at the Capitol. We look at 8 of their ideas.

A school safety assessment for each district. A bonus for high-rated teachers. A scholarship for students who graduate high school early. And a tax credit for teachers who buy school supplies for their students. The ideas are part of a package of 24 bills put forward by Republican lawmakers on the opening day of the […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Many Colorado teachers willing to walk out to protest school funding, union survey finds

Colorado’s largest teachers union says most of its members are prepared to participate in walk-outs if the state does not significantly increase education funding and teacher pay. In its first Colorado State of Education report, the Colorado Education Association laid out a number of legislative priorities for 2020 based on a member survey and a 13-stop […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Lawmakers are finally setting out to retool Colorado’s school funding formula. They’ll have to reach a consensus on these questions first.

A legislative committee is exploring how to revise a school funding formula many deem outdated, but lawmakers have more questions than answers and less than two months to decide how dollars will flow to schools. The Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance, which has spent close to three years contemplating changes to the formula, known […]