Area schools to close for teacher rally
April 25, 2018
The St. Vrain Valley School District has designated Friday, April 27 as a non-student contact day “in anticipation of high levels of teacher participation” at the Colorado Education Association’s Days of Action demonstration scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the Colorado state capitol in Denver. Citing concerns about “adequate supervision and instruction,” Superintendent Don Haddad called the cancellation “necessary” in an email sent to parents on April 18.
“While this is a statewide initiative organized by CEA, it will have an impact on schools in St. Vrain,” he wrote. “While it is always a difficult decision to cancel school for students, safety and quality learning experiences must be our highest priority.”
Classes will be cancelled for all students in all grade levels for the day, but extracurricular activities—including athletics and music performances—will proceed as scheduled, unless otherwise determined by the school administration. Staff members will be required to take personal time to attend the rally, or they may opt to spend a self-directed workday at their school.
The CEA expects thousands to join the two-day march in support of higher teacher pay and education funding. In a 2017 report from the National Education Association, Colorado ranked 46th among all states in average teacher salary ($46,144) and 42nd in per-pupil education spending, despite quickly-rising incomes and property values.
“We have great public schools in Colorado, but in too many communities we are not giving schools the resources they need for every child to succeed,” read a statement on the CEA’s website. “To be sure that we can attract and retain high quality educators to Colorado, we must prioritize education funding so that educators can support their families and contribute to our communities and our children can reach their full potential.”
The Days of Action rally comes in the wake of similar actions across the country, including prolonged teacher strikes in West Virginia and Oklahoma. On April 16, nearly 400 teachers from across Colorado — more than 150 of them from Englewood schools — staged a “walk-out” to urge lawmakers to pass PERA pension reform. At least six other front range school districts have cancelled classes for April 26 or 27, including Cherry Creek, Denver, Jefferson County and Poudre.