Classes were canceled Wednesday at Beulah Heights Elementary due to a high number of teacher call-outs.
Wednesday’s closure of the elementary school is just the latest in a number of school closures in Pueblo’s D-60.
Teachers in the district voted to strike following the district’s decision to deny teacher’s pay raises at a recent board meeting. Today, Wednesday 5/2, is the last day for the State Labor Board to step in and prevent the strike.
The decision to strike stems from a school board decision last week to reject recommendations from a third party fact-finder to approve a 2 percent cost-of-living pay increase for teachers.
The teachers and paraprofessionals in the district have worked all year without new contracts. Salaries remain at last year’s levels.
Those with Pueblo City Schools told News 5 they do not dispute the fact that teachers deserve to be paid more. Their focus is making fiscally-sound decisions for the district.
Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso explained in an email distributed district-wide that there isn’t enough money in savings to cover the roughly $1.7 million in extra salary that was negotiated. Declining enrollment and emergency building repairs put the district millions of dollars into the red.
Earlier this year, the board announced plans to convert the school calendar to 4 day weeks. That move is anticipated to save the district around $1.2 million. However, that savings will not be realized until the end of the next school year.