Today is the second day of the Denver public teacher strike for higher wages, instead of the “unpredictable bonuses” they receive each year, and more than half of all Denver public school teachers are participating in what is the first Denver teacher strike in 25 years.
Hundreds of central office staff members and substitute teachers have gone into schools to replace teachers, leading to many high school students walking out because the students feel that the lesson plans they were given were “very elementary” and that everything is “pretty disorganized.”
Each day of the strike costs the district more than $400,000. During the strike, the district must pay substitute teachers and provide strike curriculum materials, while losing tuition from the district’s preschools, which are closed during the strike.
Denver Public Schools has issued an offer to the teachers union that includes an increased base pay for teachers, $55 million dollars for investment, and another $2 million in investment for increasing the base pay for teachers. However, this $2 million investment would come from laying off central office staff members. The teachers union has rejected this offer and would like “a fair, competitive and transparent salary schedule that prioritizes base salary over complicated, unreliable bonuses.” There currently is no end in sight for the strike.
Media Resources: CNN 2/12/19; Denver Post 2/11/19