Jeffco Public Schools is going to shut down on March 19th as there are not enough subs to cover those who have called to attend a day of action at the State Capitol. ESPs and teachers to demand funding and a living wage for all. Will you commit to the CEA March on the Capitol?
Education Support Professionals deserve a livable wage. ESPs support the whole child, keeping them engaged, supported, healthy, safe, and challenged. We desperately need support staff positions filled in all job categories. If we don’t have enough bus drivers and assistants on school bus routes, students are on buses longer, sometimes missing valuable instruction time. If students don’t have paras to meet their needs, student learning suffers. Without enough SPED paraeducators, students with special needs are left without those needs met. Without enough food service staff, students are waiting in long lines and losing valuable recess time. Custodians not able to clean an entire building means student health suffers. Meeting the needs of the WHOLE child is important for student achievement, and staffing appropriately is the first step!
Tackling low compensation head-on is the boldest move the Legislature can make in 2020 to give our students the schools they deserve. Over the past decade, the total percentage of the state budget dedicated to school funding has steadily decreased, while the budget stabilization factor has increased, more unfunded mandates have been put on the shoulders of educators, and Colorado’s educator shortage has reached crisis levels. This year, we are saying that enough is enough. It is time for our elected officials to prioritize investment in our students, educators, and schools.
Specifically, we are fighting for:
1. Securing Livable Wages for Educators (and that includes all Education Support Professionals): Creating a dedicated pot of money (Educator Pay Raise Fund, SB20-089) to incentivize increasing educator pay to a living wage, based on the cost of living in the school district, for teachers, SSPs, and Education Support Professionals. If this pot of money is created, new ballot initiatives can direct tax revenue to the fund and the legislature can allocate other funds to it during the budgeting process.
2. Eliminating the Budget Stabilization Factor by 2022: It is time for the state to pay off the $572,000,000 debt it owes to public education. The chronic underfunding of our public education is preventing our students and educators from having the schools they deserve. The legislature must make a meaningful payment this year to ensure the BS factor is eliminated by 2022.
3. Passing a Statewide Ballot Initiative in 2020 to Raise Education Revenue: In addition to our legislative demands, we are fighting this year to pass a strong statewide ballot initiative that will raise enough revenue to fund K-12 education by eliminating the BS Factor and sustaining the Educator Pay Raise Fund.
We’re demanding a living wage, an end to the BS factor by 2022, and a real funding fix on the ballot for the 2020 election in November. Can we count on you to join us at the capitol on March 19th? Click here to commit to join the March on the Capitol on March 19th.