In Colorado, we fund our students an average of $2,500 per student less than the national average. We know our kids deserve better than that. Our state needs to dramatically increase our investment in education, and all of our voices play a vital role in this effort. It’s critical to be able to compensate our professionals and meet the equity needs of our students who live in poverty, are learning English or require special education.
In Denver, we care about teacher salaries and that’s why we’ve gone to Denver taxpayers to ask for funding for additional compensation. We did that in 2005 to fund ProComp, then again in 2016 as part of our mill levy investment in teachers through teacher leadership. The average teacher salary is $57,753. This includes base salary and all ProComp incentives, including for those teaching in highest priority schools and teacher leader roles. Data on the CDE website does not include critical salary elements like ProComp.
After working with other superintendents for two years to craft a stronger, better, and more fair school finance approach, we were disappointed to see no action taken on the New School Funding Distribution Formula this week. We’ll continue to press our legislators to make a change, and encourage educators, families and community members to contact their elected representatives to ensure their voice is heard too.
Today demonstrates just how much that support is needed — as well as the possibility of what it would mean for our kids.