With a tentative agreement in place following a marathon bargaining session and three days of striking, Denver educators returned to their classrooms today. The teacher strike makes Denver the latest city to see educators hitting the picket line as a wave of similar strikes have popped up across the country ending with varying results. Here are a few key numbers and things to know about what went down in Denver:
The teacher strike saw over 2,000 educators, more than half of the district’s 4,725 teachers out of the classroom for the duration of the three-day strike.
As the largest school district in Colorado, around 91,000 students were affected by the teachers strike as the district scrambled to send support staff and hire additional substitute teachers.
Of those 91,000 or so students, about one in four missed instructional time during the strike, although according to Chalkbeat, this number does not account for students who left midday:
In some cases, high school students walked out to show solidarity with their teachers, while in others parents picked up their children after growing concerned about conditions inside poorly staffed schools.
The Tentative agreement between Denver Public Schools and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, includes an increase of $23 million to teacher salaries, meaning most would see between 7% and 11% increases to their base salaries.
To pay for that $23 million, the district says some of the money will come from cutting about 150 jobs in the district’s central office and eliminating bonuses for those staffers.
With the increase to teacher salaries being an obvious win for the striking educators and their union, the inclusion of a $3,000 incentive for teachers who stay in high priority schools is considered a victory for the district. Both sides agreed to study what causes teacher turnover in those schools and “revisit the issue later.”
On the heels of a teacher strike in Los Angeles that saw student attendance at 60 percent below normal levels and cost L.A. Unified school district $151 million, the Denver teacher strike showed there is no end in sight to the wave of national strikes, stemming back to the ‘#RedForEd’ campaign and teacher strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Up next could be Oakland, as the teacher’s union there recently voted to authorize a strike. Barring a last-minute deal with the district, that strike could begin as early as next week.