Top 10 Reasons to Pay Attention to School Board Races in the State’s Largest Districts

This week Jimmy Kimmel took “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to Brooklyn, New York to tape before a live audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. He brought with him former late night king, David Letterman, whose famous “Top 10 List” still resonates with me in a way that Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” and Fallon’s “Thank You Notes” don’t today.

Before you go crying late night blasphemy on me, don’t. I have no interest in debating who now sits upon the coveted late night throne. Here in Colorado, we’ve got bigger seats to fill—school board seats—of which dozens are up for grabs in November.

Among the issues candidates are running on include what schools you should get to choose and how well they’re actually helping your kids learn. You can read all about the issues most important to candidates running in Denver, Aurora, JeffCo and Douglas Counties.

But if you’re like me and there’s a Top 10 missing from your life, here are the top 10 (not nearly as funny as Letterman) reasons to pay attention to school board races in Colorado’s three largest districts.

10. She’s watching you in Douglas County, and what you say at the ballot box could have national implications.

9. That voucher everyone is talking about in Douglas County isn’t on Groupon; it’s in your tax dollars, which could be used to help parents send their kids to private school.

8. You’re getting a new superintendent in Douglas County whether you miss Dr. Liz Fagan or not, and the next elected board will choose her predecessor.

7. Whether you love your kids’ teachers in Douglas County, or think they resemble the hot mess of characters on TVLand’s “Teachers,” they might make some more money if the new board sticks with the district’s pay for-performance system.

6. In Denver, you could have a whole new host of “21st Century Schools” to choose from if the board continues to improve the nation’s leading model for school choice.

5. If your school in Denver has been stuck at a “red light” on the district’s quality scale for two years, the new board could use the School Performance Compact to point you in a new direction or let you sit tight.

4. The pick-up and drop-off lines at Denver’s top two performing high schools in the country’s fastest growing suburb could rival any I-70 lane merge if the winner in District 4 doesn’t support school choice.

3. While JeffCo Superintendent Jason Glass is rethinking school closures, you might want to tell your board candidates what you think since they’ll have the final say if elected.

2. Just like your kids, “no” is rarely accepted as your final answer, and even though you JeffCo voters turned down a $568 million bond and mill, some board candidates are getting their best “pleeeeease” all ready for a second try.

And the number one reason to pay attention to your local school board race, whether you live in Denver, JeffCo or Douglas County, is actually pretty simple: you can run (from any candidate forum), you can hide, (from campaigners knocking on your door) but you can’t escape the results. So, you might as well decide how they affect you as either a parent, educator or taxpayer.

The point is, on November 7th, you get to decide.  

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