Getting Off the Hamster Wheel #YesonAmendment73

We’ve heard from a few folks who said they wanted our Jeffco Board Members to decide which issue they wanted more, between #YesonAmendment73 and #Yeson5A5B.

This statement is silly. Surrounding districts passed their mill levies and bonds in 2016, putting Jeffco severely behind in paying our teachers, classified staff, and administrators. And we’ve been losing staff to neighboring districts for years.

This is also ridiculous because public education is about ALL students, more than 900,000 of them, not just 86,000. We have rural districts who cannot address the Gallagher/TABOR impact to their funding due to their limited tax base.

All of Colorado’s neighboring states pay their teachers more.

WY  –  $58,650
NE –    $52,338
KS –    $47,984
NM –   $47,500
UT –    $47,244

CO – $46,506

Based on data from NCES, National Center for Education Statistics through 2016/17 -Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2016-17: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d17/tables/dt17_211.60.asp

We’ve been talking about teacher shortages in our state for a few years now.  The past two years, it finally caught the attention of our legislature when they established a task force to tour the state to study it.  There may be other contributing factors, but none of them are as blatant as the low salary we, as a state, offer our teachers.  Of course, teacher salaries in Colorado vary greatly depending on school district.  Our rural districts struggle to find teachers for some salaries as low as $27,000.

#YesonAmendment73 without #Yeson5A5B puts Jeffco at a hiring disadvantage in the metro area. #Yeson5A5B without #YesonAmendment73 leaves us all looking like hamsters on a wheel that never stops, continually trying to educate the community about the need and the property tax rates forever being reduced.

That’s for libraries, fire districts, police, sheriff, park districts, transportation, healthcare, social services, etc. What happens when that rate drops to ZERO?

via GIPHY

Let’s get off the hamster wheel now! Other special districts will likely follow with their own Amendments.

Support Jeffco Kids!