11 schools cancel classes in D-60 for Friday for teacher rally in Denver

Courtesy: MGN Online

PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE, (4/26/18): At least 11 schools canceled class for Friday in D-60 as teachers continue to call off in the district for the rally.

As of 8 p.m. the schools who canceled classes for Friday, April 27 are as follows:

Centennial High School
Corwin Internation Magnet School
Fountain International Magnet School
Heaton Middle School
Highland Park Elementary
Belmont Elementary
Sunset Park Elementary
Irving Elementary
Goodnight Elementary
Roncalli STEM Academy
Heroes K-8 Academy

The above schools are taking part in a march in Denver pertaining to statewide funding.

Throughout the week, District 60 teachers have also been making a statement about being denied a 2 percent cost of living raise. Last week, members of the Pueblo City Schools teachers union voted overwhelmingly to strike, by a margin of 471-24 according to the Pueblo Chieftain.

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ORIGINAL STORY:
For the fourth weekday in a row, a District 60 school has canceled classes due to so many teachers calling into work.

Pueblo Central High School teachers joined Pueblo South and East high schools, Heritage Elementary School and Corwin International Magnet School in calling in sick to work as a way of protesting funding issues.

Teachers across the state are marching for more funding.

In District 60, teachers are making a statement about being denied a 2 percent cost of living raise. Last week, members of the Pueblo City Schools teachers union voted overwhelmingly to strike, by a margin of 471-24 according to the Pueblo Chieftain.

The "sickouts" that have followed that vote were not a formal movement organized by the union. Suzanne Ethredge, the Pueblo Education Association president, told the Chieftain she hadn't been made aware of the call-offs until after they occurred.

Ethredge spoke to 11 News Monday about the next step.

"We are still in our 20-day window with the Department of Labor, so we are still waiting for them to decide if they are going to intervene with this dispute or not.

"The Department of Labor can come in and take jurisdiction, which means everything stays status quo, or they could try to come in and mediate this dispute one more time."

If nothing changes, a formal teachers' strike could begin by May 7. Ethredge told 11 News 775 teachers in the district are members of the union, meaning three-fourths of D-60's teachers would strike if this situation comes to that.

Pueblo Central sent families a letter notifying them about classes being canceled Wednesday.

Dear Parents,
We regret to inform you that it is necessary to cancel classes at Central High School tomorrow, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. This decision is necessary due to excessively high number of teacher call offs reported in the system.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may cause your family. We are disappointed with the fact that we have to move forward with cancelling classes at Central High School tomorrow, however, the safety of our students is of top priority.

We anticipate that school will resume our normal schedule on Thursday. If this status changes, we will notify you as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued support.