The Black Lives Matter at School Coalition stands in solidarity with all Denver educators and school support personnel who go on strike today, Monday, February 11th.

Teachers across the country have continued to demonstrate that they cannot be expected to serve children and their families well when they do not earn enough money to take care of themselves and their families. Denver Public Schools (DPS), like school districts across the country, refuse to acknowledge that teacher salaries are not enough to cover the cost of living, and many teachers are forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet. We know that low pay for teachers makes it impossible to hire and retain Black teachers that are desperately needed to meet the needs of Black students.

As the child poverty rate continues to grow in all major cities, it is imperative that we demand adequate investments in ensuring all children receive a high-quality education. To that end, we must pay teachers a livable wage and support their efforts to bring a culturally rich curriculum to the classroom.

The current use of ProComp to offer bonuses to some Denver teachers is unsustainable because of the unpredictable effect it has on retaining all teachers, especially teachers of color. All teachers deserve compensation that keeps them out of poverty and allows them to focus their energy on educating the nation’s children.

We send our deepest respect and thanks to all Denver educators taking a stand today and every day. Solidarity!