Oct 29, 2023 - Election

1-minute voter guide: Denver School Board race may shift the conversation

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Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Denver's troubled school board will face a major test in the Nov. 7 election.

What's happening: Three of the eight posts β€” including the citywide at-large seat β€” are up for grabs and incumbents are seeking re-election in two of the races.

Why it matters: The races may shift the dynamic of the board, our education partners at Chalkbeat write, and serve as a test for perception about the incumbents.

  • Moreover, the board will tackle major issues in the coming term, from declining enrollment to school safety.

State of play: The battlelines are drawn between the teachers union and reformers who support charter schools.

  • The Denver Classroom Teachers Association endorsed incumbents Scott Baldermann in District 1 and Charmaine Lindsay in District 5, as well as former Tattered Cover CEO Kwame Spearman for the open at-large seat.
  • Denver Families Action, the education reform organization, is backing Kimberlee Sia in District 1, Marlene De La Rosa in District 5, and former principal John Youngquist for at-large. Mayor Mike Johnston also endorsed the three challengers.

Be smart: Right now, the board is controlled by union-backed officials who have reversed policies put in place by the prior reform-minded board, such as keeping two failing schools open and backtracking on a school ratings system.

Of note: Two candidates, Adam Slutzker in District 5 and Brittni Johnston in the at-large race, recently said they didn't support returning police officers to schools. All the other candidates supported the move.

Go deeper with Chalkbeat: 6 questions for Denver school board candidates

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