Press Statement: Tentative Agreement Finalized To End 3-Day Teacher Strike in Denver

February 14, 2019

Van Schoales, CEO, A+ Colorado
(303) 725-1151

A+ Colorado is pleased to see Colorado’s largest school district, Denver Public Schools (DPS), and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) reach a tentative agreement to end a 15-month negotiation period and 3-day teacher strike.

We have provided resources to the community and vocalized our support of larger base pay and incentives which will create opportunities to attract and retain excellent teachers for Denver’s students. Overall, we are grateful both DCTA and DPS heard the needs and recommendations from both school-based educators and district staff, community groups and A+ Colorado, and have included the following in their agreement:

  • An average increase of 11.7% in base salary for teachers next year
  • Cost-of-living increases for the following 2 years, guaranteeing 3 years of raises
  • $3,000 incentive for teachers working in the highest-priority schools
  • $2,000 incentive for teachers in Title I schools
  • $2,000 incentive for teaching in hard-to-fill positions
  • $750 incentive for teaching in a “distinguished school” for supporting the whole child

The tentative agreement funds the highest-priority incentives by eliminating district staff bonuses, a strong step in the direction of allocating more resources at the school-level. In a district with some of the nation’s largest disparities in academic outcomes along lines of race, ethnicity, and family income, prioritizing these students, by including an increase in incentives, is essential. While we stand by the importance of incentives as we have seen across the country the role they can play in recruiting and retaining teachers to schools that see the highest attrition, we know that many school-based factors also matter, including leadership, collaboration, and community connection. We are particularly excited to see that DPS and DCTA will take on a joint research project to better understand educator retention and turnover in these schools, as we must find the best levers to support educators and students in these schools.

Our teachers are vital to the success of our children and we are pleased the agreement supports and values their needs. A+ Colorado looks forward to continuing to partner with DPS, DCTA, and others invested in our children’s future to improve their educational opportunities and experience.

The mission of A+ Colorado is to sharpen public education by building public will and advocating for the changes necessary to dramatically increase student achievement in schools and districts in Colorado. We are an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization working to bring the power of data and research to challenge ourselves, educators and policymakers to rethink public education.