Colorado teachers to rally at Capitol for school funding

Jerry White addressing the assembly of teachers

Jerry White addressing the assembly of teachers

Hundreds of teachers are expected to make their way to the state Capitol on Monday for a "Day of Action" to plead with legislators for more funding.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 81,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. The state's teacher salaries rank 46th out of 50, with educators making an average of $46,000 per year.

Sauk Rapids Police Chief Perry Beise says the boy randomly cut three children at Pleasantview Elementary School on Monday morning, then went into the office and set the knife down.

The rally, which was organized by the Colorado Education Association (the state's largest teachers' union), comes as the House Finance Committee hears Senate Bill 200.

The Englewood school district, near Denver, said it canceled Monday classes because more than 150 of its educators - 70% of its teacher workforce - had indicated they wouldn't be at work, and there aren't enough substitutes. "In the summer I'm working a second job as well".

Gas prices rising across Colorado
Crude oil prices rose due to the potential of US sanctions Russian Federation and Iran for their support of Syria. At $2.71, gas prices are at their most expensive point in almost three years and continue to climb.

Steve Collins, who follows 9NEWS on Twitter, said what he most wanted to know about the protests was "If they are so concerned about the kids, are they not DOING THEIR jobs today?". "You can not pay rent for a one bedroom in Denver on a teachers' salary".

- Education funding: Colorado effectively has underfunded its schools by $828 million, the CEA says, because the state hasn't kept up with a state constitutional mandate passed last decade to increase funds each year by at least the rate of inflation. Her 22-year-old daughter is a first-year teacher, and Smith says she can't afford to move out on her own. "As teachers, we've become complacent. We need a viable profession".

He says that when he gets back into the classroom on Tuesday, he'll tell his students that he rallied to show them "their voice matters".

"It's part of the national conversation amongst teachers", Poudre Education Association president Tom List said. In comparison, Wyoming teachers earn $US58,000 and have a lower cost of living.

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