Denver Teacher Strike Ends After Securing Huge Pay Increase

The Colorado Working Families Party was proud to stand with teachers on the picket line who walked out over unfair pay practices from the district in comparison to neighboring districts, hurting Denver students. Now that teachers have secured a much-deserved pay raise, CO WFP is looking toward the upcoming school board elections to elect pro-education leaders to the board:

According to Wendy Howell, deputy director for the Colorado Working Families Party, the next battleground will be the November 2019 election for the DPS board of education.

“We will certainly be playing an active role,” Howell says about her organization, whose website identifies its mission in part as “building progressive power to renew the American Dream.” She adds, “We plan to work with other stakeholders who will help us identify candidates with the best chance of winning and who represent a pro-public education viewpoint. And then we’ll work like hell to get those people elected.”

The party remained a strong supporter of teachers throughout the strike, and Howell was on hand during the wee hours of February 14 as negotiations in the basement of the Central Denver Public Library lurched toward their conclusion after three days of walkouts. Afterward, she felt pleased by the outcome, but she admits to some frustration that a resolution hadn’t come prior to a work stoppage, particularly since talks began more than a year earlier.

“I think what we saw was that the Denver Public Schools’ administration was just not willing to hear what teachers and students needed until they took this kind of dramatic action,” she says. “And that’s unfortunate and speaks to a larger problem within the school system about valuing the voices of outside interests over the voices of parents, teachers and students within the system.”

Read more about CO WFP’s plans to shake up the school board in Westword »