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Denver teachers rally outside school board meeting

Teachers in Denver rallied outside district headquarters tonight, while the school board met inside.

Two days after Denver teachers voted to strike, they gathered outside district headquarters for a rally with supporters.

The Denver Board of Education had a meeting scheduled for Thursday night. While the board met inside, the crowd grew outside as teachers, parents, students and other organization marched and chanted to support the teacher’s union, DCTA.

RELATED: DPS teachers strike: All our coverage in one place

“We need power in numbers,” said Lori Gates, a Denver teacher. “We’re here to show them, the Board of Ed needs to support us.”

“Important people are inside and they need to hear our voices,” added Erica Atchison, a kindergarten teacher in Denver.

“Our students, our families, deserve good teachers,” said Theresa McGuire, who teaches elementary art in the district. “We want to compete, and we can’t continue to lose teachers to other districts and states. And we deserve to retain high quality teachers in this district.”

Originally, the agenda for Thursday night’s school board meeting included approval of a contract for new Superintendent Susana Cordova. After 9NEWS requested a copy of that contract Thursday afternoon, a district spokesperson said that item was removed from the agenda due to the focus on negotiations with the teacher’s union.

Board members spent most of the meeting listening to concerns from both teachers and parents.

“I definitely think they were heard,” said Angela Cobián, who represents District 2 in southwest Denver.

“Many of us [board members] have referenced those really powerful stories we’ve heard at bargaining sessions, or told via email, …  as we discuss what next steps to take and what values guide us in that leadership, collectively as a board.”

It’s unclear when the strike would happen.

Wednesday, DPS filed a formal request asking the state to intervene. That move launched a legal protocol that both sides must follow, which will now delay the timeline. 

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