It’s the final weekend before Election Day in Colorado and thousands of voters in the Denver-metro area have big choices to make about their local school boards.
For months, Chalkbeat has been covering key races that carry implications for traditionally underserved students and for education policy in Colorado.
Interest groups are on pace to spend more than $2 million to influence your vote. So yeah, a lot is riding on your vote.
Many people wait to vote, so we thought it’d be helpful to put our most essential coverage of races in Denver all in one place. That includes surveys candidates answered in response to questions from Chalkbeat. There are similar roundups of coverage in Aurora, Douglas and Jefferson counties.
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Denver voters have become accustomed to the storyline: Every other year, the school board election is a referendum on Superintendent Tom Boasberg and the board’s policies.
Those policies include embracing a variety of schools — including charters — giving more autonomy to school leaders and closing low-performing schools that don’t improve fast enough.
For nearly a decade, Denver voters have elected board majorities that side with those policies.
Enter U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The election has gotten ugly in Denver, in part because of the DeVos factor, real quick. Political committees backed by the teachers union have tried to tie incumbents and candidates to DeVos’s controversial agenda (and Donald Trump, too). And the Democratic Party has been fractured over the tactics of a group linked to Democrats for Education Reform.
If you want to cut through all the noise, start by reading the candidate’s responses to our survey here. Then take a closer look at races for seats representing: