Teachers deserve an A grade for rally


Photo by Maddy Kirk.

On Thursday, April 26, many Jefferson County teachers will take personal days to hold a rally at the Capitol in downtown Denver over teacher pay and education funding. We, the editorial board of the Westwind newspaper support them in their endeavor to increase the resources available to both students and staff.

According to the National Education Association’s annual rankings, Colorado ranks 46th in the nation in teacher pay. Colorado teachers make, on average, $46,155 per year, but they are far behind the statewide average wage of $54,050 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Colorado severely lags behind the nation’s highest paid teachers who reside in New York and make an average salary of $79,125. Compared to the national average of $58,353, Colorado educators also trail.

Here at A-West, our budget has been used efficiently and the school as a whole is very fortunate to have the funding that we have. But being fortunate is not good enough for the sake of the the teachers and students of A-West. Teachers everywhere spend their own money on items that should be mandatory for a fundamental education; for instance, Colorado teachers, on average spend $656 out of pocket on supplies for their classroom, according to the state’s largest teacher union.

A-West instructional coach Beth Low is planning on attending the rally on Thursday. She says that she hopes to see an increase in the per-pupil funding in Jefferson County as a result of Thursday’s protests, and also believes that the protests will bring the public’s attention to the issue.  

“The critical piece of what Thursday (and Friday, because there are other districts that will take Friday off) is to raise awareness around the deficit of funding at this point in time,” says Low.

After the rally, Low plans to meet with other educators about the needs for funding over the summer, as well as “to identify candidates that are running for office in the fall that are going to be supportive of education changes.”

Although A-West technology coordinator Leah Lindblom does not plan on attending the rally as she is “not a protester person,” she believes that “we do need to pay attention to what’s going on right now. Our education system [is] super important to the nation, so I want to be fully aware and cognisant of everything that’s happening.”  

The Westwind editorial board will proudly march in spirit with the teachers of Arvada West, and hopes that Thursday’s events will prompt the voters of Jefferson County and the voters of Colorado to vote for increased school funding, so that Colorado’s students can have the well-funded education we deserve.

The Westwind editorial board is composed of Editor-in-Chief Caitlin Danborn, Sports Editor Maddy Kirk, Current Events Editor Jack Roberts, and Photography and Columns editor Aydin Valaski.