Educators On Strike In Colorado A Good Idea? (Opinion)
I will be the first one to tell you educators in our state and across the country are underpaid. But is a strike the right way to go about increasing funding?
First, let's look at who loses when educators go on strike.
At a time when their education should be paramount in importance, they have to look on as their own future is debated by school officials who only are concerned with budgets.
In Englewood, 100 to150 teachers are walking out, causing classes to be canceled Monday at the least. In Pueblo, they put it to a vote despite not having enough money in the budget. Budgets are made to make sure there is enough money to handle the needs on a yearly basis. Walking off the job now makes no sense to me. It isn't going to accomplish anything right now, other than let the school district know the teachers are unhappy.
And the walkout isn't just tied to salary either. Look at all of the teachers who spend their own money on class supplies and never get reimbursed. It's not a good situation and we understand that, but to cause the children to miss school over a budget crisis sends the wrong message, I believe.
So, if a walkout isn't the right way to go about addressing this issue then what is? The school districts have to increase their budgets. But to do that they have to receive more funding and that isn't happening. Administrators are saying they will have to cut programs or staff to make enough in the budget to increase the pay of the teachers.
What can we do?
We can open a dialogue with those in charge of putting together the budget, make sure they see how dire this situation is. Cast your vote for someone who will increase school budgets and allow for better pay for teachers. Heck, let's do a telethon for the state to increase the budget so teachers can be paid fairly.
If you want to attract good teachers, you're going to have to pay them better. And to do that more money needs to be put in school budgets.
Let's make that happen.