Every red-clad teacher we spoke to inside the Colorado State Capitol Monday said they would rather be in the classroom than protesting for better pay, school funding and protections for their pensions, but they felt what they were doing would ultimately benefit students in the long run. Many teachers in Virginia have had to get second jobs in order to pay for their expenses and families, especially during the summers when they aren't working.
Dorman Land, who teaches at Century Middle School in Thornton said that includes school supplies, rewards and even food. Starting last week, teachers started planning "walk ins" to their schools and proclaiming the idea of starting a strike.
Monday's crowd was much quieter and subdued as educators spent the day trying to meet one-on-one with elected officials. And, they said those delegates would keep returning for as long as it takes.
Low funding and teacher pay, the association says, is making the job less attractive to college graduates and prodding teachers to leave the profession early, and led to a shortage of fully qualified teachers.
Mr Beise said the boy was interviewed by police and released to his parents.
But in Englewood Schools, so many employees planned to be absent that day that the district canceled school for all but its preschool.
And even though lawmakers tried to reverse some of those cuts by passing a almost $500 million tax to increase spending, it's not enough, said Robin Wiser, a high school science teacher from Berryhill. "As teachers, we've become complacent". Her 22-year-old daughter is a first-year teacher, and Smith says she can't afford to move out on her own.
He says that when he gets back into the classroom on Tuesday, he'll tell his students that he rallied to show them "their voice matters". In 2016, Colorado ranked 46th in the country for average teachers' salary, according to a report by the National Education Association.
The upcoming 2018-19 state budget plans to give a $150 million boost to K-12 school funding, which House Democrats have called "the biggest buydown since what used to be called the "negative factor" - a budget-cut mechanism to school funding - started in 2009.