Douglas County School District cancels classes Thursday for teacher protest

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- The Douglas County School District has joined the ranks of other large districts to cancel classes because of teachers attending a rally at the state Capitol on Thursday.

Douglas County is the third-largest district in the state with 68,000 students.

Last week, so many Englewood teachers decided to head to the Capitol that the district canceled classes.

Jefferson County teachers will walk out on Thursday so it also won't hold classes for a day.

Cherry Creek, Adams 12 Five Star and Poudre will cancel classes on Friday, while Denver Public Schools will be on a half day.

A letter the Douglas County School District sent a letter to parents Sunday said it did not take the decision lightly and "recognize that this presents challenges for many of our families. However, with over 500 of our educators out, we will simply not be able to provide a safe and effective learning environment for all our students."

District charter schools, which manage their own staffing, will remain open and operate on a normal schedule.

Douglas County School District staff members who choose to attend the rally will need to take personal leave as the day is still considered a workday.

Teachers are demanding higher pay, more classroom funding and better protections for their retirement plans.

Colorado ranks near the bottom of the list in terms of teacher pay with an annual salary of about $46,000.

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