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40% of teachers considering leaving the profession after 2020-21 school year


COLORADO (KRDO) -- The Colorado Education Association (CEA) released the results of an internal member survey that shows nearly 40% of members are considering leaving the profession after the 2020-21 school year. Underfunding and lack of resources are at the root of the top reasons given: unrealistic workload, potentially unsafe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and low pay.

Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the CEA said, “The member survey reinforced what we’ve known for far too long: Colorado needs to make the financial commitment to ensure all of our students and educators have the resources they need,” She adds, “When educators don’t feel supported, they leave. When educators leave, students suffer. It’s as simple as that.”

“I wanted to retire at the end of next school year but will do so at the end of this year,” said Ann Franco, veteran teacher at Colfax Elementary in Denver. “I don’t feel supported in my classroom and the state and district repeatedly demand more of us without providing resources. The paltry pay increase I receive every year doesn’t offset the continually increasing demands placed on me. Tell me another profession that requires so much with such little respect in return.”

“To see statistics like this is absolutely startling and only amplifies the critical position educators and districts are in,” said Emily Bochenek, high school special education teacher in Estes Park. “Educators are not okay right now and cannot continue at this exhausting rate. To continuously face underfunding on top of the disparities and stressors intensified by pandemic without any resolve is entirely unacceptable. If we believe in the future of our students and this career, if we truly value those who are bearing every burden of life right now, then legislative actions need to begin aligning with words and promises. Our wellness is on the line. Compassionate educators and dedicated districts will not continue to fall victim to a broken system that undermines their dedication and devalues their humanity. We are not martyrs and deserve better.”

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Kerjan Bianca

Kerjan is the weekend morning anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Kerjan here



  1. Same problems exist in the school system that exist in Law Enforcement. Too much of the money goes to administrators when the line workers suffer financially and have the greatest risk of exposure and liability. This is what happened when our government became corporatized.

  2. Fine with me. Our child has thrived, Fall, Winter and Spring map testing off the charts in our new online school. Wasn’t any personal attention time anyways at the brick and mortar. Grades slid, except for Kindergarten where they had 2 teachers for only 25 kids. Spent 1 hour a day commuting back and forth and 2 hours of nightly homework in addition to the 7 hour day. So 10 hours a day not learning much has been reduced to 5.5 and learning has drastically increased. The carousel of teachers we have at online school do conduct meetings and provide grading, but it’s hardly the key. It’s about 2 percent of total learning time. Don’t get locked into thinking old school education models are the only option.

    1. Unfortunately long term studies and other data shown that kids who do in person learning have higher grades and end up being better student in College and getting good jobs one day. Kids who home school, e-learn or do the online classes are something like 55% less likely to go to college, and 80% less likely to get into a prestigious school of higher learning.
      Have fun with the online. Its easy for you. But your kids will suffer in one way or another.

  3. It should be pretty clear that the education paradigm of the 19th century needs to be retired. Imagine the billions that could be saved if all classes were taught on-line and only a minimal number of “live” teachers were kept on a state’s payroll.

    1. Have you not been paying attention to the constant whining from angry parents across the entire nation screaming to have brick and mortar schools reopened? There is no way people will agree to online for a majority of kids. Parents are freaking out about being stuck with their own children.

  4. “Tell me another profession that requires so much with such little respect in return.” Insulting. That statement represents a disconnect with reality caused by the current culture’s “god-like” esteem of public school teachers. Your job is no more important than my dentist’s, my vet’s, the grocery cashier or my spouse’s. My spouse has had steady pay decreases since 2008 with no bonuses to show for yearly glowing reviews, despite working 12 months out of the year in a high stress job. I can’t do my spouse’s job, but I did school my children at home, K-12. They’re both in college.

    1. “My spouse has had steady pay decreases since 2008 with no bonuses to show for yearly glowing reviews, despite working 12 months out of the year in a high stress job.”
      What kind of job does he have and also stays at that decreases his pay every year? That is just……..lack of a better word. dumb. Why would he not go do something else or work somewhere else if he gets such “glowing” reviews.?

      1. Tried many times to get other jobs, but my spouse is beyond retirement age and been dealing with “ageism” for 12 years. Enjoyed merited monetary bonuses with the original company (IBM), but survived spin off after spin off and over a dozen lay-offs, and loss of various benefits. Thankful to still have a job. My point was teachers are not the only ones who “require so much with such little respect in return.”

  5. Most of that money goes to teacher’s unions. Teachers have a very good PERA retirement plan; not bad for working 8 months during the year weekends, holidays off and daytime hours.

  6. When hilary laughed about putting coal miners on the unemployment line didnt she say they could go to school to become computer programmers? Maybe these unhappy folk can do the same. Biden wants to hire more IRS agents. The great green new deal is suppose to create lots of high paying jobs too. No worries

  7. Before they start complaining about how little a teacher makes they need to sit down and do a little math that they are supposedly teaching. Teachers work 9 and not 12 months a year. They do not work 8 but 6/7 hours a day teaching with 1 to 2 hours provided for planing and grading. (So work after going home is not necessary unless they waste the time at work) When you consider the 3 month of additional pay they would receive if they worked 12 months a year weekends and holidays like many others they would find the pay adequate.

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