DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Education Association (CEA) is warning of a potential crisis for Colorado schools after it said 40% of teachers responded in a survey that they are considering leaving the profession after this school year.
The CEA represents more than 39,000 teachers throughout Colorado. It said it conducted a survey in Dec. 2020 and asked teachers if they were considering leaving the profession in the near future.
The CEA said more than 5,000 teachers responded. Of those who responded, the CEA said 40% said they were considering leaving after this school year.
The CEA said teachers are frustrated by the lack of resources and underfunding. It said teachers listed unrealistic workload, potentially unsafe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and low pay as reasons for quitting after this school year.
“When educators don’t feel supported, they leave. When educators leave, students suffer. It’s as simple as that,” said CEA president Amie Baca-Oehlert in a press release about the survey results.
The CEA is pushing lawmakers to make changes this legislative session to encourage teachers to stay in their jobs. This legislative session, the CEA is asking lawmakers to close tax loopholes for large corporations to increase funding for education.
The CEA said teachers and students must have access to personal protection equipment, COVID-19 tests, vaccines, cohorting and other safety measures to make them feel safe in schools. In addition, the CEA said school districts must ensure that decisions they make are data-driven and transparent.
The CEA is also requesting that standardized testing is postponed. The CEA said teachers are already conducting real-time tests to gauge students’ learning levels. It said it wants Colorado to postpone these “high stakes” standardized tests so teachers can focus the remainder of the school year on getting students caught up on learning. It also said this will benefit students’ mental health as well.