Colorado teachers union adopts anti-capitalist resolution

Three Los Angeles Teacher Union members on stirke
Photo: LaTerrian McIntosh/Unsplash

Colorado’s largest union representing the state’s public school teachers has reportedly adopted a resolution on economic equity that affirms the union’s views opposing capitalism. 

The Colorado Education Association, which represents more than 39,000 educators and staff, has adopted a statement saying it believes “capitalism inherently exploits children, public schools, land, labor and resources,” according to a recent report from The Lion, a publication of the Herzog Foundation, a Christian education organization. 

The resolution also said capitalism, an economic system that relies on private property and the market forces of supply and demand, stands in the way of rectifying a number of societal ills. 

“Capitalism is in opposition to fully addressing systemic racism (the school to prison pipeline), climate change, patriarchy (gender and LGTBQ disparities), education inequality and income inequality,” the resolution stated, according to The Lion.

The Lion reported the union sent the version of the resolution that passed the assembly during the union’s 97th Annual CEA Delegate Assembly, which was held in April. It’s unclear exactly what the impact of the resolution will be on the affairs of the union. 

A spokesperson for the union told The Lion that the resolution was not supposed to be “actionable,” but one Twitter user praising the changes claimed it means the union can now “advocate and lobby for anti-capitalist policies at the [Colorado] Capitol.”

The CEA did not immediately respond to Chalkboard Review’s request for comment. 

The union says on its website that economic investment is one of its pillars, but the language used is not as strong as that in the resolution.

“CEA members believe education is the best investment we can make in the Colorado quality of life,” the website reads. “Every Coloradan shares the problem of our low economic investment in public schools and the challenge of achieving sustainable funding for a quality, 21st-century public education system.”

The Lion reported that a previous version of the resolution included verbiage with a call to action.  

“The only way to fully address systemic racism (the school-to-prison pipeline), climate change, patriarchy (gender and LGTBQ disparities), education inequality and income inequality is to dismantle capitalism and replace it with a new, equitable economic system,” the previous version read, according to a screenshot obtained by The Lion.

Several Republican state lawmakers have since decried the union’s stance.

“As a Colorado State Senator who often has to listen to testimony by the CEA, I find their explanation about a possible anti-capitalism resolution wholly inadequate,” state Sen. Mark Baisley, R-Woodland Park, told The Lion. 

“Because their platform always seems to end up in Colorado classrooms, I will be demanding answers from the leadership of the CEA, including disclosure of all resolutions approved by the voting delegates,” Baisley added.  

Brendan Clarey
Brendan Clarey is K-12 editor at Chalkboard Review. Reach him at

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