Teachers are at the heart of a community. They begin classroom learning, and at each step of the way, help growing minds take in what they need to make life successful and enjoyable. The appreciation students have for history, the numbers which make math and science understandable and the enjoyment of reading all come aided by good teachers.
The learning that takes place in the home is advanced in the classroom.
Good teachers mean good schools, and good schools mean a more vibrant and appealing community. A community with good schools can appeal to newcomers, whether with children or without, knowing that good schools are an attribute.
Want employees with deeper and broader knowledge as they acquire workplace skills? Good schools help make that happen.
Want additional population growth? Good schools do that.
Want economic development? It is good schools, again.
That is why it is so important to provide School District Re-1 with the additional resources it needs to support its teachers. The additional mills applied to property valuations will provide in the first year about $2.9 million to bolster salaries for teachers and non-administrative staff, and to add safety features at the schools. Top administrators, including the superintendent and principals, will not benefit, the organizers have made clear.
Re-1 does not offer competitive teacher salaries.
Starting pay and the increases which follow with seniority and additional professional schooling do not equal what other districts in Southwest Colorado make possible. Even with the best intentions, and the biggest hearts, potential Re-1 teachers are tempted to look elsewhere. And if they do choose Re-1, they cannot help but be aware of what they would be able to move up to by relocating in following years to another nearby district. Re-1’s teacher turnover is noticeably higher than the state average, perhaps 50% higher.
Matching state average test scores by a few of Re-1 schools has been a challenge in recent years. Better paid teachers might not fully correct that but would be a solid step in that direction. When a teacher moves to another district after a few years, valuable experience accompanies them.
We vote Yes on ballot issue 4A: Make Re-1 more attractive to new and experienced teachers.