By Sahid Fawaz
Republicans are playing very dirty politics in Colorado as teachers prepare to exercise their right to strike.
“Two Republican state lawmakers are trying to shut down a potential teachers strike in Colorado with the threat of jail time.
The bill, introduced in the state Senate Friday, prohibits districts from supporting a teachers strike and requires schools to dock a teacher’s pay for each day they participate in a walkout. The teachers could also face up to six months in jail and a $500 daily fine if they violate a court order to stop striking. Under the new law, sponsored by state Sen. Bob Gardner (R) and state Rep. Paul Lundeen (R), a teacher could be immediately fired without a hearing.
The harsh punishment comes in reaction to the teacher strikes sweeping red and purple states, including Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arizona, and Kentucky. Thousands of teachers in Colorado have joined the grassroots movement, holding rallies at the state capitol in recent weeks to demand a pay raise and more funding.
Teachers are planning to walk out of class on April 27 to protest low teacher pay and school spending. Several school districts, including Denver schools, have announced they will close that day.
Colorado teachers are among the lowest paid in the country, earning an average $46,155 in 2016 — ranking Colorado 46th in average teacher pay according to the National Education Association. The state also spends about $2,500 less per student each year than the national average.”
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