Why did the Colorado teacher cross the state line?

Why did the Colorado teacher cross the state line?

Because all of Colorado’s neighboring states pay their teachers more.  

It’s no laughing matter, they really do.

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.

This state salary average is just one of the many reasons Colorado needs Amendment 73 – Great Schools, Thriving Communities.  http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/yesona73/

When we talk about salaries within our state, we find locally there’s a huge discrepancy in what we offer as a school district that used to be a destination district for teachers and educators.  Jeffco Schools used to be ranked in the top 2 or 3 for salaries, but our district never caught up after across-the-board pay reductions in 2010, and only a very minor increase after passing the 2012 Mill Levy Override. Districts like Boulder, Cherry Creek, Adams 12, and Littleton all passed their MLO in 2016.  Jeffco did not, which left us even further behind in how we compensate our teachers (all our staff, but especially teachers.)

“On average, teachers in Boulder make more than any other teachers statewide, $75,000 per year. Cherry Creek is second paying teachers an average of $71,000. Littleton is third paying its teachers $66,000.

“But as far as salary goes, Englewood was in the middle of the pack averaging 53,000 per year. Close to Jefferson County at $57,000, Douglas County at $53,000 and Denver at $50,000.”    That’s from a recent news story on Denver CBS 4.



Surrounding/competing district Teacher Average Salaries for 2017, according to CDE:

Boulder Valley $72,951
Cherry Creek $69,110
Littleton $64,917
Adams 12 $59,127
JEFFCO $55,435
Dougco $52,044
Denver $50,701

Districts that passed their MLO and/or Bond in 2016: http://cosfp.org/HomeFiles/Election2016/Ballot_Measures_2016_District_Elections_Final_Results.pdf

Our state is behind, and our own district is behind when it comes to being competitive in educator pay.  We have a great opportunity this November to right that ship.  Amendment 73 will make a huge difference in Jeffco and Colorado with the additional annual revenue it will bring.  Jeffco Schools will receive between $120 million and $140 million additional annual revenue.  But to catch up with our neighboring districts, we also need the funds from the proposed Mill Levy Override.