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Denver teachers begin strike over pay

All DPS schools – with the exception of ece – will remain open Tuesday

DENVER — Denver teachers went on strike Monday after failing to reach a deal with administrators on pay in the latest example of educator discontent, following a wave of walkouts over the last year.

Denver’s teachers started picketing before the start of the school day and students crossed through the picket lines on their way to class in some locations. Students in at least one school walked out of class and demonstrated in support of their teachers.

The city’s schools will remain open during the strike and will be staffed by administrators and substitute teachers, the school district said. But classes for 5,000 preschool children were canceled because the district does not have the staff to take care of them.

RELATED: Everything parents need to know about the DPS teacher strike

The two sides disagree about pay increases and bonuses for teachers in high-poverty schools and other schools the district considers a priority. Teachers want lower bonuses to free up money for better overall salaries, while administrators say the bonuses are necessary to boost the academic performance of poor and minority students.

Bonuses paid to teachers with more than 14 years of experience do not become part of their base pay, which critics say encourages high turnover and hurts students. Both sides have agreed to get rid of that provision but disagree about how big the bonuses should be for teachers working in high-poverty schools and in schools deemed a high priority by the district.

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