Denver teachers go on strike in latest wave of walkouts

Denver school leaders, teachers negotiate trying to avoid strike

Denver school leaders, teachers negotiate trying to avoid strike

The move comes after failed negotiations with Denver Public Schools administrators over base pay.

Some interviewed by the Post expressed concern about the effects that a long strike will have on students. "The teachers don't leave because they don't believe in us but because they can't afford to live", she said, adding that students will continue these demonstrations. "We would invest those funds directly in our highest-needs schools, with a proposed increase in incentive pay for teaching in our schools with the highest poverty rates", the school district said.

Cordova says the district will review that plan for individual schools each day. In contrast, it took union and district negotiators more than a week to work through dozens of disagreements on a wide range of topics.

Denver teachers are getting public support as they begin a strike for higher pay that is less reliant on bonuses.

After picketing outside schools Monday, hundreds of teachers joined members of other unions and at least some students for a march that took them down busy streets and past City Hall.

Police held traffic as the group crossed intersections.

Sean Bowers, a Denver high school physical education teacher, speaking to CNN, said that with a base salary of $42,000 he has to drive for Lyft, coach sports, run a ninth-grade academy and write curriculum for extra money. That may include having classes on the first floor of the school only.

A starting teacher salary in Denver now begins at $43,255 a year, USA Today reports.

According to district data, that's about half of the teachers employed. The strike is estimated to leave 92,000 students over 160 public schools without their teachers for an unknown period of time, The Post reported.

The Denver walkout joins a wave of teacher activism in the USA since last spring, when teachers walked off the job in West Virginia.

Last month, teachers in Los Angeles, California walked out of their classrooms for several days.

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The majority leader in the Colorado house, Alec Garnett, said the strike underscored the need to boost funding of public schools across the state.

The Democrat also says school districts must do a better job at ensuring tax dollars go to the classroom and not administrative overhead.

On Monday, Garnett said he met with both sides over the weekend and they were "super-close" to a deal.

Denver teachers have gone on strike after failing to reach a deal with administrators on pay.

Waldstreicher said he supports his "incredible" teachers but admitted he is anxious that, without an agreement after a few days of striking, students like himself will get behind in their studies.

At the time, the school district said it was "committed to doing everything in our power to prevent a strike".

It's the latest action in a wave of teacher activism since last spring, when teachers walked off the job in West Virginia. For one, Denver's union is negotiating only over how teachers are paid, and negotiations have narrowed the scope of the disagreements significantly already. Another negotiation session is expected Tuesday.

On social media, some local substitute teachers indicated that they would refuse to cross the picket line.

Last month, 93% of the union's almost 3,000 members voted to strike after negotiations with the school district failed.

Chicago's 2012 teacher strike, which like Denver's reflected resistance against a certain brand of education policy as much as a bid for improved compensation, lasted seven school days. More than 30 percent of Denver teachers have been in the district for three years or less, according to DCTA.

The Denver schools superintendent, Susana Cordova, said she was "extremely disappointed" that the union walked away instead of continuing to work toward an agreement. But it can try to help the union and school district reach a deal and can require them participate in a fact-finding process. The district has canceled classes for about 5,000 preschoolers because it doesn't have the staff to take care of them.

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