Colorado teachers prepare for 'Day of Action'

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Hundreds of Coloradan educators, school administrators and bus drivers, among others, are expected to take over the Capitol building steps on Monday to demand that legislators ensure educators: better wages, an annual commitment to invest $US150 million in state funds to public schools, and that teachers be allowed to retire at 58 rather than 65 in order to protect funds within the Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA).

On Sunday, teachers in the Poudre School District were preparing for a busy Monday.

Nick Peardot is a first-year English teacher at Berthoud High School who says he was able to rally at the Capitol with help from his union. Many of them were using their personal days off to attend and say they left behind lesson plans for their substitutes.

Sauk Rapids Police Chief Perry Beise says the boy randomly cut three children at Pleasantview Elementary School on Monday morning, then went into the office and set the knife down.

Young was among a delegation of about a dozen current and retired educators from the district who headed to the Capitol with their school district's blessing to continue to press lawmakers to increase pay and classroom funding.

Teachers said they won't stay silent and sit on the sidelines any longer. According to the National Education Association, Colorado teachers average $US46,000 per year, and rural-based Colorado teachers can make as little as $US30,000.

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"We're not where we need to be", she said. He likened being a teacher to "becoming a father".

In Lewis' 17 years of teaching, he's seen the industry change.

He says that when he gets back into the classroom on Tuesday, he'll tell his students that he rallied to show them "their voice matters". "ETFO's education agenda calls for greater student access to specialist teachers to provide more support in the arts and physical education as well as more guidance teachers and teacher-librarians".

Colorado's average teacher salary - $46,155 - ranks 46th in the country.