Denver Public School teachers decided "overwhelmingly," according to the union, to go on strike on Tuesday after weeks-long negotiations with the district reached a stalemate.
While school will still be in session for all students district-wide throughout the strike, the reactions many parents have had on social media have been similar - who will be teaching my child during this strike?
The answer is mostly substitute teachers. At least for now.
DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova told 9NEWS the district plans to use an existing pool of 1,200 substitutes and recruit others, as well as expedite the licensure and interview process.
Jeremy Meyer, a spokesperson with the Colorado Department or Education, told 9NEWS that there has not been an influx of license requests since talks of a possible strike began weeks ago.
To become a substitute or guest teacher in Denver Public Schools, a candidate must have a bachelor’s degree and apply for a license from the Colorado Department of Education.
According to the district, candidates must have a 3-year substitute authorization, Initial or Professional License or a 5-year substitute authorization from CDE.
Denver Public Schools then requires fingerprinting and a background check from potential candidates. The district has offered to cover the cost of fingerprinting and background checks and will reimburse potential candidates for the cost of their licensing.
The district is also offering to pay more for substitutes during a strike. Daily substitutes could make $212 each day, up from the usual rate of $106.80. Retired teachers and some of the district’s more frequent subs could be eligible for $250 each day during a strike.
DPS is also targeting federal furloughed workers. Cordova said earlier this week the district has already been to several job fair-like events following the government shutdown.
“We’ve got a whole group of federal employees who’ve been furloughed who are not working or not getting paid,” she said. “So we have attended some of the work events where folks are looking to pick up extra cash.”