Taxpayers deserve an open and fact-filled discussion on teacher pay

Over the past few weeks we’ve heard many things regarding school funding and teacher salaries.

We’ve heard that:

  • Colorado teacher salaries are 46th in the nation.
  • Colorado teachers have an average annual salary of $46,506.
  • Teachers leave the teaching profession because of low pay.
  • Teacher pay has not kept up with inflation since the Great Recession.

And while all of these statements may be true in some context, in Colorado teacher pay is set at the school district level.

That effectively means that what is happening at the national, or state levels, may or may not be true in Jeffco.

Therefore, Jeffco taxpayers deserve to hear specific data in relation to their teachers so that they can make informed, and local, decisions regarding school funding and teacher pay.

For example:

  • What is the change in Jeffco per pupil funding since the Great Recession?
  • What is the average teacher salary in Jeffco? Can total compensation be quantified?
  • How many teachers in Jeffco have salaries which have not kept up with inflation since the Great Recession?
  • Why, with 2 JCEA negotiated contracts, increased state funding, budget cuts and a school closing, are there still teachers with salaries that have not kept up with inflation?
  • How many teachers in Jeffco have salaries that have increased by more than 125% of the rate of inflation since the Great Recession?
  • What would be the total cost of salary increases, or one-time payments, to ensure all teachers have salaries, or compensation, ensuring cost-of-inflation equivalency since the Great Recession?
  • How would these numbers change if the 2010 mandated 3.5% increase in SAED is factored in, since SAED is to be funded by moneys otherwise available for employee wage increases?
  • What is the exact number of teachers who leave teaching in Jeffco because of low pay?

It’s easy to throw around numbers that may, or may not be in context.

However, in the interest of full transparency I believe that it is important for both Jeffco schools and the JCEA to have an open and fact-filled discussion with Jeffco specific numbers so that taxpayers can fully and completely understand the issues as they pertain to our teachers. This includes an opportunity for taxpayers to ask pertinent and relevant questions.

What do you think John Ford and Jason Glass?

Can you provide full transparency and make this happen?

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