Sep 5, 2023 - News

Denver voters support returning police officers to schools, poll shows

Data: Colorado Polling Institute; Chart: John Frank/Axios
Data: Colorado Polling Institute; Chart: John Frank/Axios

Only a slim majority of Denver voters, 51%, believe the city's public schools are safe for students, a new poll finds.

  • And nearly two-thirds support putting police officers back into schools after a series of high-profile shootings in prior school year.

Why it matters: The bipartisan August poll of likely voters highlights the top issues entering this November's school board election.

The big picture: The school board's public image is not good: 55% have an unfavorable opinion, compared to 22% favorable. Among parents, the view of the board is even more negative.

  • Two district seats and a city-wide at-large position are at stake on the seven-member board. The vast majority of voters are undecided on the citywide race.

By the numbers: 49% of Denver voters believe the top priority for the school board candidates is student safety, the survey from the independent Colorado Polling Institute found, tied with retaining and recruiting good teachers at the top of the list.

Between the lines: 38% say the district's schools are not safe, and 11% are unsure.

  • The support for returning school resource officers crosses party and demographic lines. 23% are opposed and another 14% are unsure.

Of note: The margin of error on the poll β€” conducted by Republican and Democratic firms β€” is plus-or-minus 4.7 percentage points.

The bottom line: "The school board race this fall is wide open, meaning candidates will have to work hard to distinguish themselves and address those issues," said Democratic pollster Kevin Ingham of Aspect Strategic, who collaborated on the survey.

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