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A Noel Community Arts School student works on a calculator during a tutoring period in May 2019.

A Noel Community Arts School student works on a calculator during a tutoring period in May 2019.

Denver school board race: See how much money outside groups, candidates have spent

Welcome back to Chalkbeat’s campaign finance tracker. We’ll track how much each of the nine Denver school board candidates has raised and spent in the runup to the Nov. 5 election, when three seats on the seven-member board are up for grabs.

The totals below reflect how much the candidates raised and spent as of Sept. 25. The data comes from campaign finance reports that candidates file with the state.

We’re also tracking spending by political committees, sometimes referred to as “outside money.” Thus far, three committees are spending money in the Denver school board races. Below, we’ve tallied up how much each committee has spent in support of individual candidates and on other expenses.

Students for Education Reform Action Committee and Better Schools for a Stronger Colorado, which is affiliated with the group Stand for Children, are what’s known as independent expenditure committees. They can spend an unlimited amount of money but cannot coordinate with candidates.

Both committees endorsed the same set of candidates: Alexis Menocal Harrigan for an at-large seat representing the entire city, Diana Romero Campbell for a seat representing southeast Denver, and Tony Curcio for a seat representing northwest Denver.

The DCTA Fund is a small donor committee affiliated with the growing Denver Classroom Teachers Association. It raises money from teachers union members. The union endorsed a different set of candidates: Tay Anderson for the at-large seat, Scott Baldermann for the southeast seat, and Brad Laurvick for the northwest seat.

While the DCTA Fund often donates to candidates directly, independent expenditure committees spend money independently in support of certain candidates. The committees must note in their campaign finance reports which candidates they are supporting (or opposing), which is how we’re able to tally it. An example would be a committee spending $500 on Facebook ads for a certain candidate, or $10,000 on polling for that candidate.