State education rally leads more schools to announce closing March 19

Staff Report
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 3/11/20

More school districts across Colorado will close March 19, letting teachers participate in the CEA Educator Day of Action, a rally at the State Capitol to promote public funding for education. Adams …

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State education rally leads more schools to announce closing March 19

Posted

More school districts across Colorado will close March 19, letting teachers participate in the CEA Educator Day of Action, a rally at the State Capitol to promote public funding for education.

Adams 12 Five Star School District, which includes five high schools, nine middle schools and 32 elementary schools in western Adams County, announced March 4 that schools would close due to the number of teachers taking personal days to attend the rally.

School District 27J, which covers Thornton, Brighton and Henderson as well as Aurora and Commerce City, announced a similar decision, saying the district will treat the day like a snow day. District leaders, managers and school administration will be expected to work while teachers and certified staff will take a personal day with pay.

Jefferson County announced a similar decision Feb. 26. Students and teachers at Westminster Public Schools will be expected to attend, however.

The Colorado Educators Association has asked educators from across the state to rally at the Colorado State Capitol March 19, with the goal of addressing funding for public education. Some group members will also meet with legislators, advocating for increased educator wages, an initiative for a ballot issue to change the education funding system and the elimination of the Budget Stabilization Factor by 2022.

In a press release, Adams 12 representative Christina Dahmen said hundreds of teachers and registered to take a personal day on March 19, allowing them to participate in the rally.

“The lack of sufficient staff would impact the district’s commitment to provide a safe and productive learning environment, and that is why we have decided to not have school for students on Thursday, March 19,” she wrote in the release.

Any previously scheduled field trips set during the school day will be canceled — unless individual schools make different arrangements — but after-school activities and sports will go on as scheduled. The district’s fee-based BASE childcare programs will be available, as well.

Childcare at 27J’s elementary schools will be canceled as well.

Teachers in Westminster Public Schools will wear red on March 19 to support the rally and the Colorado Education Association but will be expected to attend classes, according to district spokesman Stephen Saunders. The district approved a pay increase for teachers last year and the Westminster Education Association decided a walkout would send the wrong message, he said.

All schools should open as scheduled on Friday, March 20.

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