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Improving Public Education and Teacher Pay

I firmly believe the path to a prosperous middle class starts with a strong public education system. I believe parents are just as responsible as teachers and professional educators when it comes to educating our children and developing young adults so they can succeed in life and the workplace. It is simple, the difference between those who have and those who have not is education. The success of developed countries in this world is predicated on educated citizenry that understands important issues that impacts our community, our country and our world

Are we preparing our students well enough and for the global market place?  I recently had a meeting with the attorney for an investment group that I am working with and the topic of jobs came up. The attorney told me that legal research is now being outsourced to India by people versed in our law.

We need to focus on those subjects and careers that cannot be outsourced. We need to revisit the trade school and the junior colleges. For so long those have held an unjustified stigma. The current labor market that we have has little use for the uneducated and the unprepared. 

We should be doing everything possible to be able to provide access to lifelong education for anyone who wants it. We should make sure every family can get quality preschool education. Overall, I think the public education system in Colorado is on the right track but could use some financial help and few reforms to reach its true potential.

I strongly support a pay raise for our public-school teachers. A recent study by the Education Law Center, ranked Colorado dead last in the competitiveness of its teacher salaries. That is unacceptable.

The average public-school teacher salary for 2015-2016 was $58,353. The average pay for a teacher in the Adams 12 Five Star School System is $49,846 a year and $45,714 for the average teacher in the Boulder Valley School District. After paying an estimated $14,700 in 2018 taxes on a $49,846 income, that leaves a teacher with an annual after-tax income of just $35,146. With the cost of residential housing going through the roof, our public-school teachers can’t afford a place to live in the school districts that desperately need them. The salary is below the Median income for a family of four in this country. The bottom line is that teacher salaries have not grown at the same pace as the cost of housing and overall cost of living. We need to address this by giving our public-school teachers a pay raise and make affordable housing an option for them..