Pay a big issue when it comes to recruiting, retaining teachers in Colorado's rural school districts

DENVER -- Colorado needs 3,000 more teachers and the deficit is impacting thousands of students.

“There’s just not as many teachers going into the profession as there used to be, which is crazy to me because I love teaching,” Weld County teacher Brenna Morris told Anne Trujillo on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged.

In an effort to address the shortage, the Colorado Department of Higher Education and Colorado Department of Education is hosting a series of town hall meetings this summer to get ideas to encourage more people to go into the profession and stay there. The number of people completing educator preparation programs at Colorado colleges has dropped 24 percent since 2010.

“I think our teacher shortage issue comes from a retention issue so we have a high turnover rate so every year we’re hiring new teachers and just trying to recruit those teachers is making it tough for us,” Morris said.

The rural areas of Colorado is where there is the biggest need.  Morris says part of that problem is the pay disparity between those areas and the more urban areas of the state.

“I think we’re between 3 and 5 (thousands of dollars difference) depending upon where you look on our pay scale,” Morris said.  “But when it comes to metro and even Brighton it’s thousands and thousands of dollars.” 

At least 10 town hall meetings have been scheduled around the state, mostly in rural areas.  You can see a full schedule on the Colorado Department of Education’s website.

 

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Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30am & 4pm on Denver7.

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