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Englewood schools will be closed for students on April 16, the district announced after learning that more than 150 licensed staff in Englewood will not come to work on a “day of action” at the state Capitol in Denver over school funding. The district's Maddox preschool will be open, however.
“Even with calling in as many substitutes as possible, we will not be able to run academic programs or provide a safe number of staff members to supervise students on Monday,” an online announcement from Wendy Rubin, Englewood Schools superintendent, said April 12.
More than 70 percent of Englewood's teacher workforce will be absent as they use one of their annual leave days, and the district expects that number to grow. Teachers in other districts in the state are expected to participate to some degree in the "day of action."
The Colorado Education Association, which organized the event, and Englewood Educators, the district's teachers' union, provided the district a statement.
"Our dedicated Englewood teachers care about your kids more than anything. They are frustrated and fed up with students not having the resources they deserve,” the statement read. We “know this will be inconvenient on Monday, but we hope you understand that teachers are doing this out of love for your kids.”
A page for the event on the Colorado Education Association's website points to the state's “educator shortage” and the recent positive state-revenue forecast as reasons for the protest.
Legislators “have substantially more money at their disposal this year to invest in educators and our students,” the page said. Many “officials pay lip service to respecting and valuing educators and students while their actions align with billionaires and corporate special interests that want ultimate control of public schools and see organized labor as a threat.”
The association wrote that based on a survey of more than 2,200 of its members, educators are spending, on average, $656 per year out of their own pockets to buy students pencils, glue, binders, snacks, toothpaste, and covering costs of school lunch and field trips. Extrapolating that to the 35,000 members in the association, members may be spending as much as about $23 million per year out of pocket for students, according to the website.
In Englewood, the Early Childhood Education Center at Maddox, the district's preschool, will still be open and running as normal on April 16. District employees will still have a workday. The district expects school to resume as normal on April 17.
“We understand that this unexpected change is inconvenient for families. Please know we exhausted all resources before deciding to cancel school for students,” the district's announcement said. “Our partners in childcare, Champions, will be open for the full day on Monday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. to provide care for students.”
Care for all students will take place at Charles Hay World School at 3195 S. Lafayette St. The cost will be $30 per student for the day, and breakfast, lunch and snacks will be included, the announcement said.
“Space is limited, so parents should sign up tomorrow (Friday, April 13) at their school's Champions location,” the announcement said.
More information is available on the association's website at coloradoea.org/content/cea-day-action-april-16 and at 303-764-0140.
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