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7/15/2004

Colorado educators’ earnings less than average

The Associated Press

DENVER — Salaries for Colorado public school teachers have increased for several years, but they’re still in the middle of the pack among all states and lower than the national average, a new report says.

The state’s teachers earned an average of $42,679 in the 2002-03 school year, ranking Colorado 22nd among the states and the District of Columbia, according to the American Federation of Teachers’ annual salary survey, released Wednesday. Colorado ranked seventh in the rate of salary growth from the previous year, at 5 percent.

“We were 13th in teacher salaries in the 1980s when we were booming and there was a big effort to attract teachers,” said Deborah Fallin, spokeswoman for the Colorado Education Association, which represents about 37,000 of the state’s 43,500 teachers.

“Through the 1990s, we did not keep pace with other states,” she said. “We were being held back by the state budget restrictions.”