Fort Collins Coloradoan — Some Fort Collins teachers, spurred by walkout strikes in Oklahoma and West Virginia, as well as Colorado's own education funding woes, may be catching the wave of activism that has swept through the nation.

Todd Forkner, a teacher at Fossil Ridge High School, said he's hearing conversations among colleagues he hasn't heard in almost 30 years on the job: talk about strikes in other states, student walkouts in reaction to school shootings, and how state leadership is juggling education funding requirements and other spending priorities.

Meanwhile, state legislators are trying to fill a $30 billion-plus hole in the state pension program by making employees contribute an additional 3 percent of their paychecks to it.

"There's a playbook that's been provided by West Virginia and Oklahoma,” Forkner said at a legislative town hall Saturday. “And in a lot of ways, we're in a worse situation I think than those states in terms of overall education funding. (The Public Employees Retirement Association) is one symptom to me of a much larger problem of inadequate funding for public education in the state of Colorado."

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