By Mark Ackerman
DENVER (CBS4) — Despite a booming economy, Colorado ranks in the bottom five nationally for teacher pay.
CBS4 analyzed 100,000 educator salaries obtained through an open records request. The average teacher salary in Colorado is $52,000.
But, the big take away – where you work determines how much, or how little, you make.
Scroll around our interactive map below to compare the average salary of teachers in different school districts.
The smaller the “school” icon, the smaller the average salary. Click on the icon then click the right arrow to see the name of the school district and the average salary.
Dan Halvorsen considers himself “very fortunate” to teach elementary school in the Cherry Creek School District, which is one of the highest paying districts in the state.
On average, teachers in Boulder make more than any other teachers statewide, $75,000 per year. Cherry Creek is second paying teachers an average of $71,000. Littleton is third paying its teachers $66,000.
“We have the deepest pockets but we still have plenty of needs,” Halvorsen said Monday at the Teacher’s Day of Action at the State Capitol. “It’s an unfair system in terms of how this money is doled out.”
The State of Colorado provides funding to districts based on the number of students that attend school there. Wealthier districts also tap into property taxes as a second major source of funding.
Just across the street from Cherry Creek, Englewood closed schools Monday because so many of their teachers took part in the protest.
“I have 36 students in my classroom in Englewood and that’s because of funding,” said fourth grade teacher Sara Spala.
But as far as salary goes, Englewood was in the middle of the pack averaging 53,000 per year. Close to Jefferson County at $57,000, Douglas County at $53,000 and Denver at $50,000.
Compare that to rural schools on the Easter Plains. Teachers in the Woodlin Schools average a state low- $29,000, roughly forty thousand dollars less than teachers in Boulder or Cherry Creek earn.
“We can’t say that we are a state that educates all of its students if only some districts have the money and other, especially rural districts are making $25,000 a year and working three different jobs,” said Cherry Creek teacher Dan Halvorsen. “It’s ridiculous. It’s not fair.”