The Latest: Colorado governor says he'll push for repayment

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on teacher protests in Arizona and Colorado (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he will help push for the state to pay back about $1 billion borrowed from education during the recession.

The governor spoke Friday to several thousand teachers gathered at a park near the state Capitol on the second straight day of demonstrations over pay for teachers.

He spoke for less than five minutes and didn't offer any more funding than has already been proposed for next year.

Some teachers shouted over him, "We want more," while others applauded him.

9:17 a.m.

Several thousand Colorado teachers are marching to the state Capitol in Denver after rallying in a park across the street.

Friday's demonstration is the second day of protests expected to draw a total of 10,000 teachers.

The tone Friday was more festive than the day before.

A jazz band warmed up the crowd by leading them in songs like "Marching on Freedom Land." Teachers danced along, while others kept some beach balls bouncing over the crowd at Civic Center Park.

The band then joined teachers in a march to the Capitol, as drivers honked their car horns and police stopped traffic to let them cross the street.

Teachers in Arizona are also gathering for a second day Friday at their state Capitol.


9 a.m.

Thousands of striking teachers are gathering at the Arizona Capitol for a second day of rallies to pressure the governor and Legislature to boost school funding.

Friday's protests come as Republican leaders of the House and Senate continue negotiating with GOP Gov. Doug Ducey on a budget plan he's pushing to give teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020. The Legislature has adjourned until Monday.

Teachers want the 20 percent raise but also have four other demands, including raises for support staff, yearly teacher raises, a restoration of school funding to 2008 levels and no new tax cuts until the state per-pupil funding reaches the national average.

Mesa English teacher Kelly Grant says Ducey is not listening and teachers want him to sit down with the movement's leaders to work out a deal.

So far he has refused.


7:22 a.m.

A major Phoenix-area school district that had planned to reopen its schools Monday despite a statewide teacher walkout over pay and education funding has announced that its schools instead will remain closed.

The Chandler Unified School District says its announcement Friday that schools will remain closed Monday is "based on the number of teachers who have reported their absence for Monday."

The district previously said that it had polled staff and determined there would be enough teachers to re-open.

The Arizona walkout began Thursday with an estimated 50,000 teachers and supporters participating in a march and rally in Phoenix.


11:10 p.m.

Arizona and Colorado teachers plan to don red shirts and descend upon their respective Capitols for a second day in a growing educator uprising.

Educators in both states want more classroom resources and have received offers either for increased school funding or pay, but they say the money isn't guaranteed and the efforts don't go far enough. The walkouts are the latest in demonstrations that spread from West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

On the first day of the historic statewide walkout, around 50,000 educators and supporters marched Thursday through downtown Phoenix.

In much cooler Colorado, several thousand educators rallied around the Capitol, with many using personal time to attend two days of protests expected to draw as many as 10,000 demonstrators.

Organizers say the Arizona strike has no end date.

Thousands of teachers will be ascending upon the Colorado state Capitol Thursday and Friday to rally for better pay and a better retirement fund.

The move means upwards of half a million students will not have school one or both days.

Who's affected?
Unless noted otherwise, the following districts are closed Friday.

In the Pikes Peak Region:

-District 8 (Fountain-Fort Carson)
-District 38
-District 49
-District 12 (Cheyenne Mtn.)
-Colorado Springs District 11
-Academy District 20 (The Classical Academy campuses remain open)
-Manitou Springs District 14
-Fremont Re-1
-At least 11 D-60 schools, click here for that list.

In the Denver Metro Area:

-Jeffco Public Schools (Closed Thursday)
-Denver Public Schools
-Douglas County School District (Closed Thursday)
-Cherry Creek School District
-Aurora Public Schools
-Adams 12 Five Star Schools
-Brighton 27-J
-Adams County School District
-Poudre School District
-Littleton Public Schools
-Thompson Public Schools
-Summit County
- Lake County School District (Closed Thursday)
This list will likely be growing, as a number of districts have not made a decision at the time of this writing.

Why are teachers demonstrating?
Teachers are demanding more funding across the board: for their students, for their paychecks, for their campuses, for their retirement funds. As 11 News previously reported, teachers are angry about slashed funding toward schools, which many say has resulted in outdated textbooks, crumbling infrastructure, expanding class sizes with fewer resources, and lower pay for educators despite more on their plates.

The Denver Post reports low salaries have created a teacher shortage, with rural districts the hardest hit.

In a news release from the Colorado Education Association, the association says its main goals are:

-Increasing funding
-Reducing or freezing corporate tax breaks until school funding is restored and per-pupil funding reaches the national average.
-Garnering support for an initiative that will raise more than a billion dollars annually without increasing most Coloradans' taxes
-Showing support for a bill that will give educators more security in retirement
-Show support for Initiative 93

Some of our previous coverage can be found here:
Some El Paso County teachers join funding fight
Colorado teachers to rally at Capitol for school funding
Pueblo School District prepares to strike
11 Call For Action Investigation: El Paso County teacher salaries lower than state average
Pueblo Central cancels classes on Wednesday for teacher 'call-offs'

I'm a working parent. Where can my child go if school is canceled?

In Colorado Springs:

Playcare at Palmer Park: Hosting FREE childcare Friday. Parents can call 719-291-7919 to take their child in and for details.

YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region: will hold a "School Out Day" Friday at the downtown and Briargate locations, running from 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. All kids are welcome, even if you're not already a YMCA member, but they must be registered. Cost for non-members is $45. To get more information or to register, call 719-329-7289 or email

Tri-Lakes YMCA in Monument, YMCA at Briargate and the Downtown Colorado Springs YMCA: From 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. they are charing the regular daily fee, but waiving the registration fee if parents just need care for Friday. It does require registration ahead of time and parents have to call. Non-members will be $40 for the day.

Tutt Boys and Girls Club: From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $20. Includes lunch, typically does this on days when school is not in session.

Junior Academy Kids: will be offering out-of-school care. 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at their regular cost. They have multiple locations: Small Wonders at N. Academy/Flintridge, Junior Academy at Nevada and San Miguel and locations inside several D-11, D-20, D-3 and D-8 schools that will be open. Call (719) 272-9070 for more information.

In Fremont County: Boys & Girls Club of Fremont County is offering to take in kids in grades K-5 Friday at the Mountain View club from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The cost for non-members is $20. Call 719-345-4038 ASAP, as space is limited.