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Re: Teacher's Way of Life in Colorado
dog has bad ears

    Happy New Year Michele, You are in for a shock when you see the prices of houses.
    Douglas County is very expensive and you won't get a house for
    under $200,000. At 200K, it will be just a modest house at that.
    This is a nice website to use: Get some zip
    codes and search that way. There are cheaper places in the
    Denver Metro area that are just as nice and safe. Douglas seems
    to be rapidly growing at an alarming rate!!

    I've heard some parts of Colorado Springs are a bit cheaper.
    Quite frankly - it's so pretty there. The city is so close to
    the foothills and wow! - breathtaking views!

    I teach in Douglas County - which is the third largest district
    in Colorado. Unlike another poster who hates Douglas - I love it
    and I plan to retire here! I had no problems getting a job, my
    salary more than doubled from Louisiana (but the cost of living
    will shock you) and Douglas has a great support system and they
    even offer great classes which you get paid to take. There are
    pay for performance opportunities as well. Personally, I think
    we have good benefits. We get disability, health, dental,
    vision, hearing aids and life insurance. I have insurance for
    myself only as my spouse carries his own. The district pays my
    dental of $37 a month - I pay nothing. District pays $5.00 a
    month for my vision coverage and I pay nothing. My insurance
    plan that I chose allows $2250 every three years for hearing
    aids and I pay nothing for that either. The district covers my
    insurance since it's just me. In Douglas, you can add a spouse
    or you can do spouse & family and you'd pay for them. Joining
    the union is optional in Douglas County. Last year the union got
    us over a 4% raise as well!

    While searching for school districts - watch on the pay scale
    where you max out. Example: Douglas County pays up to Masters
    plus 48 hours and then jumps to Doctorate. Some other districts
    have one more step before Doctorate and that's Masters plus 60
    hours. Just so you're aware - You'll have to search out the
    websites for pay scales. Here's the link to Douglas County,
    since I'm most familiar with it:

    The other thing is to look at calendars. 23 of our 44 elementary
    schools operate on a year round calendar here in Douglas County.
    This is due to population. I have worked the traditional
    calendar and now am on "track" and I really enjoy it. I work 9
    weeks, off for 3, etc. Not sure what other districts operate a
    year round calendar. Here's the link for Douglas County

    Your question of "can we afford to live there if both are
    teachers?" I personally know of over 20 couples in Douglas
    County that both work for the district. I think it's do-able.
    You can get creative and buy a bank-owned home (foreclosed) and
    that will save you a good chunk. Think too that if you're both
    working for the district, one of you would get free insurance
    and the other would carry family.

    Good luck, ask more questions if you'd like. I'm sure you'll get
    other responses as well. You can call a few districts and see
    when and where their job fairs are. I know Douglas hires a lot
    of people out of town at job fairs and since our year starts
    July 5th, we start hire early! Best if you apply for Colorado
    certification NOW as it takes at least 12 weeks. I have listed
    some websites for you - perhaps you can copy and print:
    This site lists the school districts in Colorado.

    **Colorado Springs Area
    Academy 20 - Colorado Springs
    Colorado Springs District 11
    Harrison District 2 Colorado Springs
    Hanover District 28 Colorado Springs
    Widefield Colorado Springs

    ***Between Colorado Springs & Castle Rock (Douglas County)
    Lewis-Palmer District 38 - Monument

    **East of Denver
    Aurora Public Schools
    Cherry Creek School District

    Denver Public Schools

    ***South of Denver
    Douglas County
    Littleton Public Schools
    Englewood School District

    ***West of Denver
    Jeffco Public Schools

    ***North of Denver
    Adams 12 5 Star Schools Northglenn / Thornton
    Adams 14 - Commerce City
    Adams 27 J - Brighton
    Adams 50 - Westminster
    Adams 1 - Mapleton

    On 12/31/07, Michele wrote:
    > Thank you so much for your response.
    > In Colorado Springs and Denver metro areas (where we would
    > like to move) do teachers pay incredible amounts per month for
    > health insurance? I went to a website for a Denver district
    > recently and it appeared that the health insurance that they
    > take out of your paycheck every month was sky-high. I may
    > have read it wrong.
    > How is the pay in these districts? What is the average salary
    > for a teacher with masters and 4-5 years experience? Also,
    > what is the average cost for a home? I really want to know if
    > my 2 boys, my husband, and I can live comfortably (not rich or
    > anything) in Colorado while both of us are teachers. Any
    > thoughts/advice?