Almost 10,000 school teachers are preparing to descend against Colorado capitol as they demand more funds for the school. However, lawmakers have told that the teachers will sentence to jail if they go on to protest against the Colorado capitol. An official statement released by the Republicans lawmakers in which it was told that if any teacher was found taking part in the protest against any public school employer, he/she will face prison.
Sen. Bob Gardner further clarified that the accused teacher will face a sentence of 6 months. While giving an interview to ABC News, the president of Colorado Education Association, Kerrie Dallman said that the decision of prison is certainly a slap in the face of educators. She further said that they only want to talk to elected representatives to increase the education budget, which is their right. And the bill made by two Republicans is an attack on the teachers of the state.
The lobbying effort will take place on Thursday and Friday as teachers of more than 10 districts are taking part in it by canceling their school activities. It was also reported that more than 7000 teachers are expected to gather at Denver on Friday. It was also told that this is not a protest or even not a major walkout by the teachers. And the teachers will use their two casual leaves which they earn annually. Kerrie Dallman also said that teachers using their earned casual leaves show how important this issue is for the educators.
However, Gardner defended the bill saying that this bill will not impose on the actions planning by the teachers. And it is not fair to say that this bill is a slap in the face of teachers. By no means, this bill is an attempt to silence Colorado teachers, Gardner tweeted. The teachers have full right to gather and demonstrate whatever they want to. He further said that the bill was misinterpreted by many people. Giving clarification on the bill, he said that the teachers will go to the jail only if they defy court orders.
Gardner said that the protest of West Virginia teachers earlier this year urged him to propose this bill. In March, the West Virginia teachers went on strike for nine days and eventually, the Republican Governor announced an increment of 5% in their salaries.
However, the teachers of Arizona are demanding a 20% pay rise as they are planning to go on strike by Thursday. But the Colorado strike is different than the others as their governor is a Democrat and the party has the majority in the Senate. The bill proposed by the lawmakers is not likely to approve as Colorado Senate Democrat tweeted that the bill was anti-worker.
This bill is anti-worker trash. Republicans would rather pay to throw teachers in jail than pay them to teach. #copolitics https://t.co/WXxhIUEyFO
— Colorado Senate Dems (@COSenDem) April 23, 2018
While giving an interview to ABC News, Dallman said that Colorado teachers are frustrated that the lawmakers are not approving Amendment 23 which was approved by the voters of 2000. The amendment states that the funds of schools should increase according to the rate of inflation per year. She explained that they are compromising over the school fundings for nine years and are now fed up. The parents and teachers want to see the schools getting more support from the government.
While providing stats about school funding, Dallman said that there is a deficit of $2,700 in Colorado school fundings. She also told that the lawmakers had not done anything good for the schools in last nine years and also they underfunded the education department by $6.6 billion. Dallman also said that now they want them (lawmakers) to adhere to the school fundings by paying off all the debt and approve the Amendment 23 as soon as possible. He adds that they will not tolerate any other tax on education until they get the funds according to per-pupil average.
A few days back, the Oklahoma teachers also went on strike and after a strike which continued for more than a week, the teachers declared the victory and returned to their schools. The president of All America Teacher Federation, Randi Weingarten said on these protests that we want public school teachers to spend time on making future of the kids rather than begging others for making their lives.