Denver school leaders, teachers negotiate trying to avoid strike

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Though things were tame in northeast Denver, teachers at the Montbello picket line were encouraged by the size of their rally and the amount of community support they've received.

Both sides reportedly agree that the district's 5,300 teachers deserve a raise in their base pay. "We presented an updated proposal that responds to what we heard from our teachers ... and significantly increases the base pay for all of our educators". "Red pen" teachers have been marching every weekend across France, Tunisian teachers have been on strike since October, New Zealand primary school teachers are threatening to resume their walkouts and similar struggles have erupted on virtually every continent over the course of the previous year. The strike is estimated to leave 92,000 students over 160 public schools without their teachers for an unknown period of time, The Post reported. The strike comes at the end of 15 months of negotiations.

Cordova said students at schools she visited were working in classrooms, overseen by adults. At least one student who had gone into the school came back outside after realizing there was no learning to be done there.

She said district officials reported that the school was calm by early afternoon.

"We all support the teachers", Pence said.

Denver East High School students are seen jumping up and down, chanting and roaming the hallways in video captured by junior Elena Katz, obtained by The Denver Post Monday.

Police held traffic as the group crossed intersections. Some 1,400 employees from the central office were also brought in to fill gaps.

The school district said it's listening to teachers' concerns and made a series of offers to the union - all of which have been rejected.

As was expected, some parents elected to keep their children home from school.

The main sticking points in the talks over a contract governing Denver's incentive pay system, which started over a year ago, are lowering bonuses to put more money in teachers' base pay and how to allow teachers to advance in pay based on education and training, the norm in most school districts.

Outside South High School after the start of school on Monday morning some students left the school to join teachers outside. Students have joined in the protests outside several schools. "We are incredibly disappointed that on the last day of bargaining and less than two days before a strike, they doubled down on onetime incentives teachers do not want".

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House Majority Leader Alec Garnett said Monday lawmakers must find a way to fix conflicting laws that restrict state K-12 spending by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Denver teachers went on strike Monday after failing to reach a deal with administrators on pay. That cleared the way for teachers to begin striking Monday.

It's the latest action in a wave of teacher activism since last spring, when teachers walked off the job in West Virginia. Now they're ready for Denver's first strike in 25 years.

Both sides met Saturday in a final attempt to reach a new contract after over a year of negotiations.

The union said it's willing to continue negotiating Tuesday.

Jayden Tolson, a high school junior at Montbello, went into school early Monday morning. The district says schools will remain open during the strike and will be staffed by administrators and substitute teachers.

The strike in Denver, Colorado's largest school district, is just the latest example of educator unrest sweeping the U.S. It will marks the third major moment of teacher unrest this year, after the historic six-day strike in Los Angeles that sent tens of thousands of teachers to the picket lines and an organized walkout among educators across Virginia.

The DCTA union, which represents most of Denver's teachers, said 93% of its members voted to authorize a strike.

Teachers are claiming the district's proposal lacks transparency and "pushes for failed incentives for some over meaningful base salary for all".

DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova said she was disappointed union officials did not show up Sunday.

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