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Thousands of Colorado teachers expected to swarm the Capitol Friday

Posted: 10:43 PM, Apr 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-27 00:43:40-04

Dozens of school districts across Colorado have already canceled class on Friday because of the planned teachers rally at the Capitol.

In Southern Colorado, District 11, Academy District 20, Lewis-Palmer School District 38, Falcon District 49, at least 11 schools in Pueblo’s District 60 and several others have made the decision to cancel classes for the day.

Teachers News 5 spoke with say they hope this will send a good message to lawmakers that it’s time for change.

"Shame on Colorado," teachers from the Colorado Springs Education Association said.

Teachers from dozens of school districts across Colorado, preparing to ask lawmakers at the Capitol for a change.

"Enough is enough, and this state has underfunded us for so many years that we simply just have to say that we can do better by our students," Phyllis Robinette, a 2nd grade teacher and President of the Pikes Peak Education Association said.

This comes after similar rallies in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and even on Thursday, Arizona.

"That just woke everyone up in our profession, all of the educators all of the sudden said did you see what was going in Kentucky? Did you see what was going on in Oklahoma? Do you think we could do that in Colorado?" Robinette said.

They’re asking for more school funding, better PERA funding for their retirement and higher wages. 

"It’s time to start valuing us and time to start taking care of us," Sara Miller, a 2nd grade teacher in District 11 said.

Miller will be one of thousands marching to the Capitol on Friday.

"How much do we value education and how much do we value the upcoming generation and our children?" she said. "If we value it a lot then we need a big change, if we don’t value it anymore, then we don’t need a change."

An already historic day planned for teachers who never thought it would come to this point. 

"In my 32 years I never, never would have seen this coming and I guess when I started my career, I never knew that all of the sudden I would have to defend public education and the right that our students have," Robinette said.

And the majority of students across the state now have the day off because of it.

Teachers are being told to start gathering at Denver’s Civic Center Park on Friday at 9 a.m. They will march to the Capitol at 10 a.m. where they will start their demonstration and a full day of activities. The rally will begin on the west steps of the capitol at 2 p.m.

News 5’s Lena Howland and Shayla Girardin will be there all day with complete team coverage on-air and on Facebook, Twitter, the News5 App and KOAA.com.