Colorado teachers prepare for 'Day of Action'

Jerry White addressing the assembly of teachers

At least 500 educators are expected to demonstrate at the state Capitol in Denver on Monday to push for more financial support, the Colorado Education Association says, in what will be just the latest in a wave of teacher protests at USA state capitols this year. Many teachers in Virginia have had to get second jobs in order to pay for their expenses and families, especially during the summers when they aren't working.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 81,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.

Mr Watkins said the school made mental health counsellors available to students and staff, and classes went on as scheduled.

- Teacher pay: The CEA says Colorado educators' average pay has dropped by more than 17% when adjusting for inflation over the last 15 years.

"We're just hoping that by all of us showing up that they know we're not giving up", said Jana Young, a special education teacher's assistant from Enid Public Schools.

"We're still here for our kids", said Mary, an administrative assistant who was there in support of PERA as well as the teachers she works with.

Do you think teachers get paid enough? He likened being a teacher to "becoming a father".

"We're not where we need to be", she said.

Berryhill teachers voted to keep the district closed one final day Monday so they could head to the Capitol to advocate. Per-pupil spending in Colorado has ranked near the bottom in the nation.

In Lewis' 17 years of teaching, he's seen the industry change.

"We are calling Monday, April 16th a day of action", Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association (CEA), told KDVR in Denver. Extrapolating that to the full association, members may be spending as much as $23 million per year out of pocket, according to its website. If implemented the measure would raise about $US1.6 billion by increasing the state corporate tax rate and income taxes for people who earn more than $150,000 a year. In comparison, Wyoming teachers earn $US58,000 and have a lower cost of living.

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