Re: Teacher's Way of Life in Colorado
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: www.recolorado.com 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
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