For the teachers, vote yes on 5B |

For the teachers, vote yes on 5B

Teachers are struggling. It has been a very challenging start to the school year. Lost time in the classroom, lost time with peers, too much screen time and a lack of a lot of important socialization has negatively affected school-aged children, and teachers see it in our classrooms everyday.

Student needs are greater, but the school district is short-staffed, like every place. We are trying to meet an increased need with less manpower, and it is wearing on us. Take the sub shortage: The pandemic remains a serious health concern present in our community, and there are very few subs available. When someone calls in sick, it’s frequently necessary for other teachers to cover classes during their plan time. Everyone is feeling overworked and extra stressed, and it is all but impossible to take personal time. There are just not enough subs available, and that’s only one area of concern.

We also need bus drivers, nurses and para-professionals. These positions are terribly underpaid; you could earn more money working at a grocery store or a fast-food restaurant. All industries are short-staffed, but this one is impacting our kids and our teachers.

We know teachers are underpaid. Colorado has a robust economy and a high cost of living, but our teacher salaries rank 49th in the nation. We are almost dead last in teacher pay. I have a master’s degree plus 12 years of teaching experience, and I have yet to earn $60,000 a year. Could you survive here on that amount of money? Would you stay in a job with such limited prospects for your financial future?

Teacher salaries have been an issue for years; currently we are being asked to meet even greater needs with less manpower. Teachers are a resilient, caring bunch who show up every day ready to do more with less for your kids. But we are human, and there is a limit. Teachers are on the cusp of burning out or walking out. We are at a crisis point, and we need your support. Please vote to support 5B.

Maureen Hinkle