Spark for education is now free for students and teachers

Chitra Ravi – founder Chrysalis

"I'm glad that people are standing up for their pay, because teaching is really hard", says Cheryl North, who serves as program director for secondary education at UMBC.

To the applause of teachers, Morejon stated, "Teachers started this and we are not ending it until teachers say so".

Last week, the teachers union laid out a set of specific demands they said could end the walkout, including specific legislation to restore funding cuts to classrooms.

There are, however, other issues that must be addressed if children in Colorado are going to keep up with students in other states. However, Republicans are unlikely to support those changes, and their backing would be needed for any legislation to pass because they control the Senate. Tiffany Boyd and Rebecca Lavendore, who teach at Louisville Elementary School in the Boulder Valley, were on their way to thank a Republican senator who recognized PERA was a bipartisan issue and was supporting some of the education association's recommendations. "Education in particular was just being flushed down the toilet", she said.

"PERA is it for us", Boyd said. Teachers shouted their support for the call to reach out to teachers in Kentucky, Arizona and other states and prepare a general strike by educators and all workers and a political struggle against the Democrats and Republicans.

"I think the question is: How do we invest both in transportation and also in education without pitting them against each other?" asked Rep. Faith Winter, a Westminster Democrat.

However, lawmakers we spoke with say they've been very clear that the education budget will not change. "Things have gotten so bad out here, we're like a third-world country," Gaddis said in a phone interview.


Despite the Oklahoma Education Association calling for an end to the walkout last Thursday, some teachers and supporters returned to the Capitol on Monday. Teachers throughout the state, where union membership is optional, pushed the OEA to adopt a deadline of April 1.

Stevens said teachers said they don't care about the money, "but that is why they deserve it".

"I'm fortunate to work in an environment where I'm supported, trusted and actively encouraged by my headteacher to take risks and try new ideas, as well as alongside an awesome group of teachers and support staff who understand the importance of creating a deep, genuine and firmly embedded reading for pleasure culture".

Mitchell and the other LEA members emphasized that the local school board is not the problem. I image it was much of the same for educators across the state.

Advocates at the Capitol want $150 million locked into the budget every year to pay down the negative factor.

The CEA is also demanding that teachers' pensions, part of the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association, be stabilized to avoid discouraging potential teachers from entering the profession. However, he presented no viable strategy to advance the struggle, saying instead that teachers and parents should continue to lobby state legislators who are controlled by powerful corporate interests, including the oil and gas industry, and are determined to continue starving public education to fund corporate tax cuts.

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