A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Red for Ed

With the midterm elections coming up, a huge point in the election takes place in our own backyard. Schools have been fighting for funding for many years, but recently, action is being taken as there had been activities that bring awareness to these problems.

Students have noticed because when the subject of anything political hits the classroom, the teachers aim to dodge the topic. The reasoning behind this is something that students question especially after the presidential election where there was a large conversation that teachers were left out of to keep neutrality. The idea of teachers having to keep a neutral position is something that keeps them from using their free speech.

Last year many schools had walkouts from the teachers in which they had gone to the capital. A good majority of teachers in Littleton High School had partaken in this but had to take a personal day off in order to participate. After this event, in the morning before school, many teachers were seen outside of the school all wearing red and some had signs that contained the bold, “RED FOR ED”.  This demonstration is known as a walk in which is something that the teachers had planned with each other.

“We’d like to see increased funding for education, we are one of the lower funded states in the country,” said history teacher, Kevin Burdick. The organization Red for Ed has hit the Littleton Public Schools last year in which many teachers have begun to partake in because of how it would bring awareness of the concern to high school students, especially those who are eligible to vote.

“It certainly long overdue, it’s kinda frustrating that it even had to get to this point where our state and even our country as a whole doesn’t make education a priority,” said language arts teacher Thom Uhl.

“They kinda talk out of two sides of a mouth by saying how important the future is and how important the kids are but then it’s consistently one of the first things that they’ll cut on the budget and they don’t properly fund it,” said Thom.  This association is based in Aurora and is a major advocate for teachers in the Littleton Public Schools, which currently is a main topic during the election since there is a possibility of increased funding for education.

“The parents were in solidarity with the teachers too because they knew that it was time to start funding education, and not just teachers salaries but teachers are walking out because they are having to buy books and supplies for kids that we shouldn’t even be thinking twice about when it comes to education if we were properly funding it,” said Thom . It is no debate that teachers use their own money in order to buy supplies for the classroom. In a recent article with CNN, it was found that 94% of teachers had spent their own money in order to help the classroom which led to an average of $479 in a span of two years.

Although the wearing Red for Ed is sometimes subtle, it is a very powerful movement that is needed all throughout the country. In past years, many teachers were not allowed to even say anything about where they stand but with the possibility of increased funding with Measure 4A, the opportunity was seen and it was taken by teachers here in Colorado and especially here at Littleton High School.