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Here’s what you need to help inform your vote in the 2017 Douglas County school board race

Haylen Orgunez, 14, hangs out the window of one of the new compressed natural gas buses as he poses for a group photo at Douglas County High School in Castle Rock, Colorado on November 16, 2016.  (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)
Haylen Orgunez, 14, hangs out the window of one of the new compressed natural gas buses as he poses for a group photo at Douglas County High School in Castle Rock, Colorado on November 16, 2016. (Photo by Seth McConnell/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 Denver, Aurora and Jefferson County.

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.

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Conservative education advocates across the country are closely watching the Douglas County school board race. At stake in the state’s third largest school district — in one of the nation’s wealthiest counties — is a first-of-its-kind private school voucher program.

Back in 2011, the school board developed a program that would allow up to 500 students to use tax dollars earmarked for their education at private schools.

The district has been a political hotbed ever since. And this year, with four seats up, huge sums of money from voucher supporters and opponents have bankrolled two groups of candidates. One group wants to continue to defend the voucher program that has been caught up in the court system, the other wants to put an to it.

Here’s a closer look at why the race is drawing national attention and a look at where the candidates stand on more local issues.

Finally, check out Chalkbeat’s latest reporting on campaign contributions and expenditures.

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