By Jeff Todd
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Thousands of teachers hit the streets on Friday trying to get the message out about statewide and local incentives on the ballot that could increase funding for their classrooms and their pay.
“The future of Colorado is in our classrooms, that’s our future workforce, that’s the future of our state,” said 5th Grade teacher Hannah Bruner. “They deserve the funding that has been taken from them over the last decades due to our funding issues.”
Bruner was one of a few dozen teachers on the corners around Colfax and Wadsworth Boulevard in Lakewood. Jeffco Schools teachers lined Wadsworth Boulevard throughout the county. Denver Public Schools teachers took to Colfax around the state capitol.
“My air conditioner has not been working. The heater in my classroom has been broken for the last three years. It makes learning conditions difficult, teaching conditions as well.”
But many of the teachers are hoping the funding increase can benefit them as well.
“I thought I would be living above the poverty line enough to not have to worry where my groceries are coming from at the end of the month even with other jobs,” said Bruner. “Last year, I had to work three additional jobs just to make ends meet, government subsidized housing. The works even with a master’s degree.”
Bruner says she’s tutored after school and even dabbled in freelance photography. However, what she wants to be doing is improving her class.
“I became a teacher to teach kids and have my own classroom and the things I wish I could be doing more outside of school such as grading papers, and lesson planning and coaching after school activities.
All of those things are really hard to do when I’m spending all my time working other jobs.”
Amendment 73 is the statewide ballot issue that could raise more funds for school districts.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.