Earlier this year the Denver Classroom Teachers Association voted to support the group living proposal currently before city council. 90 members, representing nearly 4,000 teachers, voted unanimously to support the update to the existing policy. As teachers we feel it is our duty to provide the optimal learning environment for ourselves, our students, and their families.
The housing crisis has negatively impacted many students, particularly those in underserved communities such as the LGBTQ community, minority communities, and those in low to middle income families. Students in parts of the city are facing an alarming rate of housing insecurity with many students and their families becoming homeless, living in automobiles, or shared living spaces.
The existing group living laws unfairly discriminate against those with larger or non traditional family structures. The new proposal seeks to end these outdated practices by allowing more people to live together regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or familial status. Group living will solve many of the issues facing our students due to the housing crisis by allowing families to share expenses, share parenting responsibilities, and give more security to our students.
Many teachers are facing these same issues. Rising rent prices and lack of housing options is forcing many teachers to find roommates or seek alternate living arrangements. How can we be expected to care for and guide Denver’s youth when we ourselves are insecure about the place we live? All Denverites deserve an affordable place to live.
We teachers have made our choice. We choose to end the old, outdated, and racist policies of the past in order to build a more fair and equitable Denver for ourselves and our students. It is up to us to show future generations that Denver is a safe and inclusive place where citizens can live, work, and learn.
The DCTA is committed to providing the best possible learning environment for our students. By supporting the group living proposal we hope to end housing insecurity for students and teachers and provide a better learning environment for all. We urge citizens to support Denver’s teachers by supporting group living.
Written by Tiffany Choi, President of DCTA, and Anna DeWitt, chair of DCTA’s Fair Housing Committee and teacher at North High School.
DCTA has nearly 4,000 members representing approximately 5,500 educators throughout DPS. DCTA members are dedicated professionals working to create the Schools Denver Students Deserve.