Scores of Colorado teachers left their classrooms Monday and descended on the state capitol in Denver for what was billed as a "Day of Action", in which they lobbied legislators to boost their pay and provide more funding for education.
"We need to make sure there is a big tidal wave of big changes in legislatures nationwide so the public school community can spend their time helping kids succeed, not begging or demonstrating for decent pay and adequate school funding", Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement.
About 200 of Oklahoma's 500 school districts shut down Monday, April 2 and protests continued to Tuesday.
Teachers said they won't stay silent and sit on the sidelines any longer.
"We're just hoping that by all of us showing up that they know we're not giving up", said Jana Young, a special education teacher's assistant from Enid Public Schools. They will wear red, as have other teachers protesting low pay in other parts of the country.
Before dozens of Poudre educators walk into school on Monday, they'll stand outside with signs.
The Colorado School Finance Project released data in December that found that inflation-adjusted salaries for Colorado teachers fell by 7.7 percent between the 2010-11 school year and the 2015-16 school year, and that the average Colorado teacher salary was about $7,000 below the national average.
Careers education runs throughout the school to help students make the right choices as they consider their options for university and beyond. "They don't speak for me, and I think that (coming today) was to us a way of saying this is not over".
"This first planned organized activity is to raise awareness", McNamee said.
Nearly thirty Oklahoma schools have announced cancellation for Wednesday's classes and admitted that if they do not see a legislative change, the protests could continue through the week.
"I've taught for over 34 years and it's getting worse instead of better".
As a result? For one thing, the CEA says, teachers it recently surveyed reported spending an average of $656 yearly on school supplies and expenses for students.
Districts across Colorado are participating in walk-ins. These demonstrations shut down school districts across both states as the educators protested cuts in pay, benefits, and school funding.
Some district teachers will head to the Capitol.