The irony is impossible to miss. Jeffco School Board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams, aka WNW, claim to be “laser-focused” on student achievement…but only in certain cases. Ditto for fiscal responsibility, accountability, transparency, and respect. For example:
When it comes to offering free full-day kindergarten to low-income families at a cost of $600,000, they said it’s not a mandate and we can’t afford it.
When it comes to equalizing mill levy funds–a move that is is not mandated and that at a cost of $8.1 million is 13.5 times more than it would cost to expand free full-day kindergarten, WNW said “it’s only fair.”
When approached with any district request, WNW demand to know how it will impact student achievement.
When WNW equalized funding for charter schools, they didn’t ask how it would improve student achievement.
When told how full-day kindergarten improves student achievement for at-risk families, WNW ignored multiple national studies that demonstrate achievement gains, including Jeffco results that clearly showed student gains when they controlled for days attended (which is what good scientific studies do).
WNW claim that they are moving Jeffco forward because they improved student achievement results.
As proof, WNW cite Jeffco graduation rates from before they took office.
When WNW wanted to make sure the DAC aligned more closely with state statutes than the former SPAC did, they rewrote membership so that it was in violation of state law.
When this was pointed out to them — after they tried to rush the approval through that night without revisions and eventually agreed to follow their own policies — Witt said “that’s why this ‘compromise’ makes sense.”
WNW are bragging about the school they “built” without incurring debt. But wait–do you see a new school in Candelas? No? Neither do we. Perhaps they should try “are building?” And that’s without addressing the fact that the K-6 school WNW approved is neither as large as it should be, that it will require an addition, that the district’s recommendation was for a K-8 and that new schools are needed in two other locations plus an expansion to Sierra Elementary, or the fact that by taking $18 million from the operating budget, they’ve left nothing for addressing unexpected budget needs like security.
WNW repeatedly say they want a new District Accountability Committee that doesn’t look like the former Strategic Planning Advisory Council and that is truly aligned with state laws. Then John Newkirk proposes a membership that violates state laws.
And our favorite: when Witt held a closed-door press conference to announce he was asking the Independent Ethics Commission to investigate him regarding allegations that he violated the Colorado open meetings act. Note that the IEC has no jurisdiction over school boards, that they do not weigh in on open meetings laws, and that they exist to advise about future decisions — and that Witt somehow thought a closed-door press conference was the perfect antidote to allegations of closed-door meetings.
#LogicFail #LogicFail #LogicFail
You know what you need to do. Vote and get those ballots in by Nov. 3 — or better, yet, turn in them in tomorrow! The sooner you turn them in, the sooner both sides will stop calling you and knocking on your door.
Here’s what you do:
- Vote for Ali Lasell in District 3
- Vote for Amanda Stevens in District 4
- Vote yes to recall Julie Williams
- Vote for Brad Rupert as successor candidate
- Vote yes to recall John Newkirk
- Vote for Susan Harmon as successor candidate
- Vote yes to recall Ken Witt
- Vote for Ron Mitchell as successor candidate
- Turn in your ballot by 7 pm on Tuesday, November 3.
Keep fighting, JeffCo!