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Everything you need to help inform your vote in the 2017 Denver school board race

Boasberg eats lunch with students at Cowell Elementary's Summer SLAM Program in 2016.
Boasberg eats lunch with students at Cowell Elementary's Summer SLAM Program in 2016.
RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post

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.

Already voted? Take a moment to share this post on social media or email it to five of your neighbors who haven’t, and encourage them to sign up for regular updates from Chalkbeat here.

If you haven’t voted by mail, it’s probably too late to mail it. Best to drop off your ballot at an approved location. You can find a drop box or a place to vote in person here.


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:

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