Deirdre Boyd and Jenny Gabriel Shea: Sen. Baumgardner refused to meet with local teachers at Capital | SteamboatToday.com

Deirdre Boyd and Jenny Gabriel Shea: Sen. Baumgardner refused to meet with local teachers at Capital

Colorado teachers put democracy into action on Monday. We held a direct action rally at the state capitol and lobbied our state representatives to adequately fund our public schools and to do what’s best for Colorado students.

We both teach in Steamboat and went down to Denver today to join our colleagues in education and to speak to our state representatives on behalf of Steamboat students and teachers.

District 26 Representative Dylan Roberts did meet with us (along with Eagle County educators) and was supportive and committed to fighting for public education in Colorado. We discussed the need for more mental health professionals, overcrowding and huge class sizes, teacher compensation that does not keep up with the cost of living and our concerns about proposed changes to our retirement system — PERA.

Our State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, District 8, however, refused to meet with us, the teachers from his district. We both took a personal day and drove down from Steamboat, only to be informed that he would not come out to speak with us (the Senate had adjourned and many senators came out to meet constituents).

Sen. Baumgardner is supposed to represent us but would not even bother to speak to the professionals with whom our community trusts the care of their children every day. That is our state senator, and our community should be aware of Baumgardner’s complete lack of interest in the wellbeing of our students, the future of Colorado.

As always, we are thankful to live and work in a community that so strongly supports public education.

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Deirdre Boyd and Jenny Gabriel Shea

Steamboat Springs High School teachers