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April 27, 2018 02:06 PM UTC

Massive Capitol Rally For #RedforEd Day 2

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Denver7’s Blair Miller:

Thousands of Colorado teachers gathered at the Capitol building in Denver on Friday for the second day of walkouts and rallies calling for better pay, more school funding and pension reform…

Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed the teachers shortly after 11:30 p.m. and tried to explain what his administration has done to try and pay down the so-called “negative factor” in school funding, which currently sits around $670 million, Hickenlooper said.

“When the state went through the recession…in essence, the state borrowed over $1 billion for education. I know it’s not enough. We share that frustration,” Hickenlooper said, but he added that he wanted lawmakers to pass plans to pay the negative factor down to zero over the next few years.

Denver Post:

State troopers declined to give a crowd estimate, but observers put it at least 6,000, nearly all of whom yelled and challenged lawmakers for more school money. At one point, they collectively pointed to the Capitol and chanted to legislators, “Come on down! Come on down!”

t was the second rally in as many days as more than 30 school districts — including those covering Denver, Aurora, Cherry Creek, and Douglas and Jefferson counties — canceled classes because of a lack of teachers. The districts serve hundreds of thousands of students, who got the days off. Many teachers used their personal days off to attend the rallies.


Image courtesy Rep. Mike Foote

We’ll update with coverage of today’s massive rally at the state capitol to support public education, the second day of such protests and by all accounts a much larger turnout than Thursday’s gathering:

Support or oppose them, it’s the most color-coordinated crowd in Denver since the Broncos won Super Bowl 50.


48 thoughts on “Massive Capitol Rally For #RedforEd Day 2

    1. My guess is that his kids were likely much more disappointed with that situation . . . 

      . . . cripes, what red-blooded II-er forces his kids to go to “government school” anyway?  Doesn’t that constitute parental abuse among his ilk?

      Damn snowflake! . . .

      . . . no wonder his kids hate staying home with him.

          1. If the Republicans had their way schools would be taught by undocumented workers, they’d be paid below minimum wage, and the minute they ever got sick, hurt, or dared to reach retirement age, they’d be deported and new ones brought in.

            Individual freedoms, rights, clean air and water, choosing a religion (or not choosing any religion), speaking out about unfair treatment, being represented by legislators, and wanting not to be shot dead, are all reserved, just like tax cuts, for those people rich enough to deserve them.

            1. Individual Freedom*

              *Freedom sold separately.  May not be available in all locations.  Purchases of freedom may be restricted based on ethnicity, age, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

            2. Dio — they don't even have to be non-citizens.  A major defense contractor hired American workers for jobs overseas, and confiscated their passports, gave them only tourist visas, and had a penalty clause in their contracts for thousands of dollars if they tried to quit.  Oh, and of course the work was in extremely hazardous conditions.

              Six Americans are suing the outsourcing firm ManTech for ‘rel[ying] upon forced labor to illegally sacrifice its employees’ health and safety in pursuit of a higher profit margin.’

              Enter ManTech. On May 31, 2012, the company signed a contract with the Pentagon to service MRAPs. The contract ended up being worth $2.85 billion—real money, even in the military’s bloated budget. In the months after getting the contract, ManTech hired a number of Americans to go to Kuwait and service the vehicles. According to the lawsuit, they recruited far and wide—including fast food workers, participants in a program for high school dropouts, and people with little to no experience as mechanics.

              ManTech supervisors also ordered their employees to misreport how much time they worked servicing the vehicles into the military’s labor-tracking system, under threat of firing, according to the suit. The plaintiffs say this was so the Pentagon wouldn’t realize that the company was using unqualified mechanics to service the vehicles.


              God Bless the GOP war profiteers!

  1. I was there. Awesome crowd

     Great signs ( teachers are used to writing big and colorfully )

    "austerity kills" "If you can read this, pay a teacher", "cuando estan luchandos Los maestros, ya estan ensenandos" (when the teachers are fighting, they are still teaching), I'd rather be teaching, but this is important, "We're teaching the doctor who will do your colonoscopy", "Best economy in US,48th in school funding".

  2. Was the teachers' demonstration why the choppers were flying overhead all day? As you know, I’m a mile-and-a-half south of the capitol, and it drove me batty!

    1. Yes, those were "our" helicopters driving you batty. Just watch the tedious first 1/2 hour of the video in the post to see how the copters followed the miles of teachers trekking from East and West high schools. I walked from East ( my alma mater), and I know we had at least 3,000 assembling and walking from there alone.

      It was remarkable because it was truly a grassroots, organic gathering. I didn’t see speakers at EHS or the Capitol,just various people on bullhorns, although apparently there was an organized programme earlier and later. Chants (What do we want? Funding! When do we want it? Now! Educate, don't Edu-hate! 48th is not OK! Tell me / this is what democracy looks like, etc) (sprung up and died away spontaneously.

      That was also a weakness, in my opinion, because although I know some folks went into the capitol and lobbied, or tried to lobby, legislators, and there were efforts to get people to sign initiative 93 for education funding, I would have liked to see some kind of follow-up other than, "Wow, we showed up and we showed them how unified teachers are."

      CEA has four concrete proposals on its webpage: 1) pay down the "negative factor" in school funding,  2) freeze corporate tax breaks until funding is restored  3) pass initiative 93 for 1.6 billion for schools and 4) stabilize PERA retirement funds by passing the amended SB18-200. I will contact my legislators, both of whom like to pretend that they are pro-education, and see what they say about these proposals.

      I was proud of how orderly and courteous we were – we were thanking the police officers who blocked traffic for us, nobody was cursing or saying anything not PG rated for the many young  kids and students who attended.

      Coverage in mainstream press was overwhelmingly positive, as were the waves and horn honking from the public, even those with school age kids at home for the day. By the way, DPS, which had the largest group of "DCTA red shirts" represented, had already negotiated a day off "comp day" on Friday months ago – as my district did. So Caldera's gripe was probably not founded – unless his kids went to a noncomplying district, most districts had planned a comp day because Good Friday fell during spring break this year.

  3. As to Initiative 93, it seems to have not one dime for higher education.   The budget crisis, coupled with constitutional protection for k -12 budgets has seriously eroded higher ed in Colorado.  I can't support an "I've got mine, Jack" plan that further wrecks higher education.  CEA needs to try to build a broader coalition for public education rather than try to grab every available dime for itself.  I think they tried that last time and lost as well.

    My two kids owe $300,000 in loans.  Yes, they have a law degree and a ph.d. Respectively.  But that is partially a result of so corroding public universities that my kids eded up at DU law and Boston College after earning BAs at Metro and CU Denver.

    I won't vote for any plan that aids only K12 or, for that matter, only higher ed.  We're either all in the same boat or no better than the Trump anti-education crowd.

    1. Yeah!  You betcha’!  

      Always, always, always, hold out for the perfect (in lieu of the good) . . . 

      . . . that’s always a never-fail winning strategery!

      (Just ask any Stein voter.)

        1. No.  And it hasn’t been for over 40 years.  Which is why it’s important to have K-12 education that adequately staffed and funded to prepare our students to be able to move sucessfully through higher education.

          That’s why we made sure our daughters were getting a good comprehensive preparatory education, and why we planned and saved and contolled our spending, from almost the moment they were born, to ensure that we had enough put away to pay for their college without them, or us, having to borrow.  It worked.

          It’s also probably the reason I’m still working now. That’s OK, I’ve never bought into that crap of having everything, in life or in legislation.

          1. Why do I think your kids stopped at a ba?  I had money set aside for that, too.  But son went for a ph.d., Daughter for a law degree.

            In any event, you seem determined not to learn from history.  Ballot issues are won by coalitions.  By funding K-12 only and telling highet education to go bleep itself, you're heading to anotheanothetr defeat like a few years ago.

            Ohh, well, after we beat you ten times or so, you may learn that " I've got mine, Jack, " is a poor election platform.

    2. The teachers rallying were almost all public school k-12 teachers. We have the right and responsibility to call for policies that fit our interests. CEA, which was the primary mover behind the rally and behind Initiative 93, also advocates for policies to mitigate college debt.

      You know perfectly well that any initiative that makes it to the ballot has to fit the "single subject" rule. You can't have a multipurpose education ballot initiative.

      Proposals to mitigate education debt, and to make higher education more affordable, are being put forth by all Colorado Democratic, and zero Republican, gubernatorial candidates.

      1. Nonsense.  Funding public education, pre-school to ph.d, is a single subject.

        Does CEA have the "right" to draft a greedhead special interest ripoff that betrays the future of our children?  Yes.  Do people who put kids, including college kids, ahead of special interests have the right to vote such crap down?

        Yes.  We did it before and will do it again.


        1. Another beautiful day, another afternoon returning to Pols to see a curmudgeon ranting about how K12 education reform is not worth pursuing unless it lowers the amount of his own kids' student loan obligations. Further, he calls this lack of attention to his own  family's financial situation "greedhead special interest ripoff",  and "crap" to be voted down. OK, got it – "greedheads" are anyone advocating for interests other than yours.

           Guess being 48th in the country in per-pupil funding is fine with him. Guess it's OK that teachers still spend hundreds of dollars buying school supplies for low-income students, are among the lowest paid highly educated people in the country, and, yes, are still saddled with punishing student loan debt. Guess he doesn't see a benefit to himself in educating a population that will work and pay into the social security system and Medicare to support him in his old age.

          However,  anyone without their head up their ass or drowned in a whiskey bottle knows that education is a continuum, that graduating prepared students helps education all the way up through post-sec years and graduate degrees

          Right now, CDE has created many opportunities for concurrent enrollment in community college and high school classes in medicine, criminal justice, automotive repair and agricultural mechanics, to name a few. This benefits both community colleges and high schools, and, of course, it helps students. Virtually every district in Colorado takes advantage of these concurrent community college enrollment programs. Polis has specifically called to expand concurrent enrollment programs.

          I checked the governor candidates' websites to see if I was right about my claim that they all had a plan for decreasing student loan debt. To my surprise, Jared Polis was better than Cary Kennedy on this issue.

          Jared Polis  actually has a good voting record on pushing back against predatory student loan lenders and creating more opportunity for community college students to transfer credits to state universities, and making repayment more affordable for recent graduates

          Cary Kennedy doesn't even have anything about student loans on her education issues page on her website. Just K12.  The horror! Does that mean we should now look for a rant from you about how Kennedy has lost your vote since she clearly doesn't "give a bleep" about your interests?

          Look, I get it. I've repaid the original amounts plus interest on all my student loans, several times. But I still owe my entire yearly salary on loans I took out when my kids were in preschool,  because of the way these loans were structured back in the day. That was also when they stopped awarding grants and started awarding more loans, under Bush Sr.

          And no politician worth their salt wants to touch these very profitable loans because bank and financial lobbyists would raise holy hell about it. But it is a separate issue from public school funding, like it or not.

          Community colleges share in local taxpayer funding along with K12 ed- but 4 yr universities and colleges do not. Tuition for university programs can't be on the same single subject ballot initiative as K12 ed. It's all about the funding stream.

          Both K 12 and post – sec education need to be more effective, equitable and affordable. But one size does not fit all in fixing these systems.

          1. Well, it didn't take you long to getback to lying.

            For openers, it's a lie that we're 48th in per capita k-12 spending.  We're 38th, nothing to be proud of, but hardly the lie you claim.

            And we're 31nd in teacher pay.  That's accorfing to the CEA as rrported by 9 news.

            And no, pants on fire, I don't expect help repaying my kid's loans.  

            But when you try to grab $1.6 billion a year and not share a nickel with higher ed, you put your own greed ahead of the needs of the next generation.

            If this monster passes, you will tell voters they've taken care of efucation funding.  Since you have done nothing to ease tabor, you will destroy any chance of restoring significant general fund support to higher ed.

            And you are lying to claim the single issue forces your hand.  The single issue here could simply be a tax increase to better fund public education.

            This isn't the first time you've tried this greedhead betrayal of higher educstion.  You tried the same stunt in 2013 and 65 percent of the voters said no..

            It turns out I'm not the only one who wants support for higher education.

            Too bad you don't.




          2. I'm coming down with MJ55 on this one. K-12 teachers are in a far different position than Higher Ed profs. School kids are in a far different position than Higher Ed students. I've not heard of college profs buying supplies for students.

            Higher Ed and Voc Ed ought be addressed separately. But, they do need to be addressed.

            1. Actually, many higher ed teachers earn far less than k-12.  They are called adjunct faculty and earn about $2,000 per class or less.

              I taught adjunct for ten yearsvat metro and the CU Graduate School of Public Affairs.  No, I didn't do it for the money.

              But far too many people do teach adjunct as their only source of income.  It is the shame of higher ed.

              But the main point, of course, is that higher ed does need to be addressed.  This initiative doesn't do that, which is why I won't support it.

              1. Actually, many higher ed teachers earn far less than k-12.  They are called adjunct faculty and earn about $2,000 per class or less.


                And that sure as hell is not the fault of teachers' unions.   You need to look at the managerial cancer that is infesting the universities now.  Treating learning institutions as potential for-profit businesses rather than public goods and hiring MBAs to strip them of usable assets is the problem.  Adjunct university faculty are the academic version of low-paid contractors and gig workers that are visible all through our economy.

                1. You pretty much said that in your opening comment.  Andbit's pretty much true ifbyou mean only tenure track profs.

                  But as both slavdude and Isaid, adjunct faculty can be terribly exploited.

                      I loved teaching graduate school and was paid for my day job.  Teaching made me a better journalist and gave my students a real world perspective.

                  But you will find some poor bastards, sometimes with ph.d, forced to teach five classes a semester for $20,000 a year.  And that is wrong, wrong, wrong.

                  Likewise, in K-12, the brutish mistreatment ofvsubstitute teachers is a scandal.  But, I guess, that's a subject for another day.

                  1. V, I did NOT say that higher ed faculty were paid more. I've gone back and looked and I didn't "pretty much" say it.

                    Misquoting me several times does not make your comment more accurate


                    1. Well, then, your statement is incoherent.  Want to try explaining what you did mean to say?

                    2. As Dio points out above^^^^: Watch OUT!

                      Dat wascally wabbit's wabbit hole is vewy vewy wisky.

                      Evvyting backasswuds. No bottom. Make-a you Kway – kway.

                    3. I suppose it would undercut the spirit of bonhomie in this thread if I checked the level of the cooking sherry…




        2. I'm not an attorney, so perhaps you can clarify why you think "pre-school to ph.d." funding could be jammed into a "single subject."  Any precedent from Colorado or other states? Legal standards that would allow for similar treatment of areas of the state budget which now are handled VERY differently?

          1. The subject is a tax increase tosupport public education. If you buy mj's claim, single subject could not include prepreschool, k-8 and high school 

            You just can't raise taxes and outlaw marijuana in the same subject.  And while I am not an attorney either, I covered the legislature for the Denver post for 37 years and kind of know that topic.

            They do in fact go beyond the subjectt of a tax increase to direct the legislature how to spend it.  One mandate requires the legislature not to use any of the new $1.6 billion to reduce any of the current 6.6 billion k-12 budget.  Just take that line out and allow them to use up to $500 million of this new river of cash for higher ed and I might support it.

            But the claim that the single subject rule forced them to screw higher ed is not true.

            1. You, V, are promoting the knd of bullshit communication that drives many away from political discussion. You're accusing folks of lying when you have a difference of opinion. Not smart at all, not helpful at all. Makes it less likely that I will believe anything you say


              1. I  admit that when I am attacked as viciously and as personally as mj did, I sometimes redpond in kind.  But her claim that  I oppose the k-12 tax increase because it won't help pay off my kids' student loans is a deliberate falsehood.  I oppose it because not one nickel of the largest tax increase in Colorado history would go to higher education.  And her claim that the single subject rule forced CEA to grab all the money for itself is false. 

                1. Seriously, snowflake, if you can't take it, stop dishing it out. Everyone here knows that even minor, polite disagreement is occasion for you to full-bore attack the disagreeing one's sanity, drinking habits, clothing, living arrangements, intelligence, and truthfulness. You do it to me every time I disagree with you on anything, no matter how trivial. You do it to Zap, Duke, dustpuppy, ardy3, Dio, and those are just the ones I can recall.

                  Perhaps you never have learned how to engage in normal adult discourse on the issues. You engage in bad mind reading and "gaslighting" on a regular basis.

                  I don't have this problem with anyone on this forum but you. Generally, I can discuss any issue with anyone, including known trolls, without resorting to cursing or personal insults.

                  For what it's worth,  I shouldn't have written "anyone without their head up their ass or drowned in a whiskey bottle " – implying this was your perspective – even though you have often implied similar things about me. I was reacting to your characterization of I93 as "greedhead special interest ripoff".  However, I shouldn't have descended to your infantile level. Mea culpa.

                  Back to the issues –

                  Initiative 93 is clearly about a tax increase for public education "from preschool to 12th grade" . This is how it was specifically written, by public school educators for public school funding. The title on the final wording is the Quality Public Education Fund Amendment.

                  Therefore, to comply with “single subject” rule, any content of the initiative must deal specifically with public education, which unfortunately does not include most higher education.

                  “Public education” includes preschool (pre-pre school in the case of special schools for pregnant and teen mothers) K-8, high school, and the first year of community college by virtue of concurrent enrollment agreements between community colleges and high schools. It includes public charter schools, like your grandson's, in case that sways your opinion at all.

                  Adult education programs, and all other higher ed programs such as grants and scholarships would presumably have to be funded from other sources.  Having a reliable funding stream for K-12 public ed should free up some of those other funds for higher ed.

                  Regarding stats and where Colorado education funding is in relation to other states and the nation:

                  Colorado School finance project (historical)

                   Shows Colorado ranking 42/51 in 2013 for per-pupil spending

                  Great Education Colorado – chart showing education funding 1982 -2015


                  Great Education Colorado also showed Colorado at 50th in teacher wage competitiveness (has chart) compared with similar education  and experience

                  49th in # of new tchrs 18% The bottom ranking shows more new teachers than other states (18%).

                  The “46th” ranking of teacher pay includes COLA. From NPR 2018

                  47th in per pupil spending change 02-03 and 12-13 This shows the chilling effect of TABOR on education funding.

                  47th in per pupil spending per million $ of personal income 2012 updated 1/15 Colorado Legislative Council Staff issue brief, p 4

                  40th in per pupil spending 2013 (Nat Ctr for Ed stats)

                  So while there may be different takes on Colorado's ranking compared to other states, depending on the year and the metric, it hardly means that I'm "lying", as you assert. But that is how you roll, and everyone knows it.

                  So you don't want to vote for 93 – fine, don't vote for it. You'll be in the company of every right wing think tank and bible humper around these parts. But when you spread misinformation about it, I'll correct it.

                  And if student loan debt and higher education funding is such a critical issue for you, you might want to consider switching your support to Jared Polis – after researching the top D candidates positions on this issue, I did.

                  Cary Kennedy is all about the K-12 priorities – or in your words : "greedhead special interest ripoff crap".

                  1. Oh, dry your tears, Krupskaya.  The salt is making the vodka taste bad.

                    If you read the nonsense you just wrote — which I don't recommend — you will see you said the authors wrote it for "preschool through 12 grade." .After which – – AFTER — adopting that language then higher ed wouldn't fit.

                    Do you have any idea how dumb that reads?

                    In other words, authors could have written a broader title but deliberately chose not to do so.  Then, you ex post facto claim you can't share the money because you don't want to and deliberately chose a restricted title.

                    I get it, you want every dime.  OK.  But don't pretend the single subject rule made you do it. The limit comes from the title you chose, which you finally admit.

                    As for the flood of new money freeing up resources for adult education or higher ed, you r authors ruled that out.  There is a clause that prohibits any of the new  $1.6 billion being used to replace part of the existing $6.6 billion.

                    So, don't blame the single subject rule.  And don't pretend that your "I've got mine, Jack" proposal is intended to help higher education in any way.

                    And did you ever think that the reason you don't vilify most other posters the way you do me is that I'm the only one who regularly stands up to your bullying and often refutes your untrue claims — such as "the single subject rule made us do it?"


                    1. No tears, no fear, futhermucker.

                      For the record, I never said anything so stupid as "the single subject rule made them do it".  In my original post, I truthfully pointed out that I93 was written by public school educators for the purposes of public school education. Preschool -12th.

                      This unfortunately does not include higher education. There was this guy named Bernie Sanders that wanted to find a way to make all higher education public education, but he was a commie. Or so I heard, from you and others.

                      Perhaps college students and faculty will be the next group to promote a higher education funding initiative and storm the Capitol. I might even join in, as I also face paying off my own and my kids' student loans forever. 

                      I'm sure you already let your lawmakers know that you want a post-sec funding bill. Didn't you? Or do you prefer to just gripe about it on here?

                      You'll never vote for a tax increase that does not directly benefit you and your family. You could honestly say that in one sentence, and be done with it.  Calling people who disagree with this stance "liars" and "greedheads", implying that they are autocrats and  communists doesn't make your stance any more public-spirited.

                      And you calling me a bully? You need to look up "projection" sometime. As Dio implied, provoking pointless fights and bullying posters on here is what you do, a game, a hobby, perhaps an outlet for all that verbal aggression you don't have a godlike forum for anymore. 

                      I'll continue to ignore your baiting and nastiness  unless you're outright misinforming people, as you did on this issue.

                      And when you do, expect pushback.

                    2. Another 9,000 word post "ignoring" me.  I guess the single subject rule made you do it.


            2. Out of nesting sights above…

              V, I'm not going to explain the plain language I used. Ask yourself what your motivation is to misstate the clear meaning of my words.

              I'm done with this thread within a thread

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