DENVER (KDVR) — New data shows Colorado’s teachers are some of the lowest paid educators in the nation.
Analysts from Business.org found teachers in Colorado rank #49 for teacher pay.
On average, the research shows teachers in Colorado make about $57,269 a year. According to Business.org, that’s -5.90% less than the average salary in Colorado.
“In Denver I think we’ve seen with our teachers that it’s difficult to stay in Denver because they can’t necessarily afford to live here,” said Rob Gould, a special education teacher for Denver Public Schools and President of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association.
Low pay is one of the major reasons why nearly 40% of Colorado educators said they were planning to leave the industry in the near future.
Right now, Colorado’s school districts are having a tough time filling vacant teaching positions.
“I’m pretty sure there’s not one district that does not have an open position. We’re seeing it in every district whether it’s a suburban, urban rural – we know there are open positions. We’re just hoping people will step up and fill those positions. Because when they don’t it’s the students who suffer,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, President of the Colorado Education Association.
Overall, there are about 5,600 teachers in the Denver Public School system, according to Gould.
This week Gould said the district welcomed 500-600 new teachers.
According to the data from Business.org, Colorado’s teachers make -1.93% less in 2021 than they did in 2020.
“We actually have such a great economy in Colorado so why isn’t that trickling down to our schools? Why isn’t that actually supporting our schools more?” Gould added.