Denver schools cancel classes amid teacher protests

Denver schools cancel classes amid teacher protests
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Denver Public Schools (DPS), the largest school district in Colorado, said Tuesday that it would cancel classes Friday because of a teacher walkout, The Denver Post reported.

More than 92,000 students in DPS will be affected due to the “significant anticipated teacher absences.”

Over a dozen school districts across the state will cancel classes or release students early on Thursday or Friday, affecting roughly half of the 910,000 students enrolled at Colorado schools. 

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About 10,000 teachers are expected to participate at the state Capitol rally, The Post reported. 

However, a spokesman for DPS said participating staff will need to arrange for the time off. 

“This still is a working day for DPS staff, and teachers and others participating in the rally must work with their supervisor to take an appropriate leave," Will Jones said. "Employees must take personal leave, unpaid leave or can contact a Denver Classroom Teachers Association representative to ask if they can use a union business day."

A bill introduced by two Republican state senators this week would consider punishing teachers who strike with jail time.

Colorado teachers have planned similar walkouts throughout this month to demand more school funding and increased pay.

Colorado teachers make an average of $46,000 a year, ranking 46th in teacher pay, according to the National Education Association. The state comes in last place in terms of competitiveness of teacher salaries, according to a recent study from the Education Law Center.

West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona and Kentucky have all seen teacher protests over the past few months.