DENVER — Thousands of teachers are expected at the state Capitol on Friday for the second day of walkouts and rallies.
Schools throughout the Denver metro area have been shut down because so many teachers are using personal time to attend the rallies and there are not enough substitutes to staff classrooms.
About 2,000 teachers mobbed the Capitol on Thursday. They rallied outside the building, then marched around the Capitol, at one point pretty much completely surrounding the grounds.
After that, they went inside to lobby lawmakers.
The Colorado Education Association claims schools in the state are underfunded by more than $800 million.
But according to Senate Republicans, the state has increased education funding by more than 35 percent over the past six years.
Teachers coming to the Capitol on Thursday and Friday say they need more.
“We spend a lot more than 40 hours week don’t get paid for it,” said Vicki Macatie, a teacher of 30 years. “Our kids need money in the schools. We’ve been underfunded for nine years,”
“I love kids,” Jefferson County Public Schools teacher Cindy Ball said. “I don’t want to see teaching deteriorate, but that’s where it’s going. We need to keep teachers.”
There are 18 school districts that will be closed on Friday, including Aurora, Adams 12, Denver, Boulder and Littleton.
An estimated 10,000 teachers are expected to attend the rallies at the Capitol.