Jefferson County teachers rally over pay dispute

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- Teachers held a rally Monday night after they said they reached an impasse regarding salary negotiations.

They accuse the Jefferson County School Board of going back on its promise to give them pay raises.

The teachers marched outside the school board meeting and they used some tough words aimed at the board members.

Inside the school board meeting, the two sides could agree on one thing. Talkss over the teacher raises were officially at an impasse teachers say that could affect students.

Teachers say they're unsure if the rally made any difference in their fight.

FOX31 Denver contacted the Jeffco School Board to get its side of the issue, but phone calls and requests for comment via email were not returned.


  • okaytheniguess

    This would be better if it clarified that teachers took pay cuts and stagnant pay all this time with the understanding that as soon as there were more funds they would be paid their due AND now that there is money they are being refused what was promised. As a taxpayer, graduate and parent of this district I feel it is wrong to break a promise to those who have sacrificed so much for our kids. This isn’t really about raises, more like back pay!

  • Kathy Pott Brown

    To clarify- this is not just about pay. Recent negotiations are just the latest insult.
    1. Community survey overwhelmingly supported funding more all day Kindergarten and giving teachers back their steps as well as a raise. Currently, teachers with 4 years experience are paid the same as a first year teacher. Many are leaving the district because of this. On the bottom of the survey was money for charters. What decision did the board make?- Give $3.7 million to charters, cut the $600,000 for full day Kindergarten in 15 more schools, and said increase that the state mandated increase for employer PERA contributions would come out of the money earmarked to roll back cuts that teachers have endured for 4 years.
    2. Community forums held through out the district reiterated all day Kindergarten and giving teachers back their steps, and giving no new money to charters. Again, ignored.
    3. Community survey asking for what was wanted in the next superintendent. At the bottom of the list for parents, community members, teachers, and administrators was a hybrid or alternative candidate with experience in government or military. It was near the top for three of the five board members. Guess what is on the district descriptor.
    4. Ken Witt says he wants district data to show that all day Kindergarten improves achievement. National data already shows this. Yet, Ken Witt ignores district data that shows that some, not all, charter schools do not meet the academic needs of their students but wants $100 more given per charter school student, regardless of need – with no strings attach for accountability. He is a proponent of performance pay, but national and district data shows that this is not effective. Performance pay only works when employees are not working their hardest.

    This is not just about pay. This is about the board listening to the voices of the entire community- not just the ones that financed their election.

  • Codswallop Hogwash

    Sorry folks. In the grand scheme of things, paying for Kindergarten is a total waste of money. If that money were put to hiring more teachers in K-12, especially in Junior and High School, you would see better results at levels that count.
    Teachers should of course be allowed to express their opinions. What they should not be allowed to do is strike during the school year. If they strike, they should be fired. There are a lot of unemployed teachers out there.

    • Browncoat (@browncoat_28)

      If I were a teacher in the state of Colorado, I would simply leave Colorado and let the ignoramuses that defend pay cuts and low pay for teachers deal with the bottom of the barrel teachers. Do you think things are bad now? Wait until your children are taught by worst of the worse.

      Sadly, parents just don’t get it. I will pay any amount of money to ensure that my children get the best education possible. If that means moving to a low tax county and sending them to private school, then so be it.

      This state is a joke when it comes to fair compensation of teachers and what is really “best” for the children. Its disgusting, really.

  • Dave Waters

    My Daughter has taught in this district for the past six years. She also coaches basketball, tutors, babysits, dog sits, and runs a church daycare just to make ends meet.Teachers are the one of the most under compensated professions already. She works so many hours a day that her hourly pay must be pennys. She is up late each night grading papers. Maybe Colorado’s pay scale should be lined up with the cost of living. The teachers in my state make just as much with a much lower cost of living. Guess what? They are under paid also. There isn’t a more important job than teaching the next generation. In my home town we have a website about growing up in Iowa. When ask the question about who you were influenced the most by people almost all answered a teacher.

    • Browncoat (@browncoat_28)

      At some point, college students will see how horrible the majority of American people treat teachers and they’ll simply find an alternative career. I hope that happens soon so that the public school system fails miserably, since it is borderline useless as is.

      • Bob Hightower

        And this is already happening. Higher education costs quite a bit these days as we all know. You’re expected to invest more than ever before to become a teacher, then get crapped on. Not worth it. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Treat teachers like garbage, then complain about not having enough good teachers.

  • Wendy McCord

    It is not surprising that KDVR has not heard back from the Jeffco School Board. The three-member majority has been very good at ignoring correspondence and communication that they don’t want to hear. I have three letters that I have sent since February 8 to which I haven’t yet received a single response (despite a promise to hear back within two week from the date of the letter).

    My letters are respectful and simply point out policies that are in place that are not currently being followed (or at least not regularly) and ask related questions. I am sure I’m not alone in not receiving answers.

    Mr. Witt and his colleagues are very good at hypocrisy and double standards – apparently community involvement is only encouraged when you are supporting their views. Anyone in in the community who expresses a contrary opinion gets silenced or ignored. It’s a shame, and it would be great if KDVR could do some digging into what is behind their behaviors & decisions. As another commenter points out, the Board majority is completely ignoring tremendous responses from the community on the topics of school funding and characteristics for a new superintendent.

    Please, follow up on this, KDVR. Whatever is behind Witt and his cronies has already wrought damage in DougCo and is also at work in Thompson. Heidi or Eli could get to the bottom of this, I’m sure!

    Thank you!!

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