It’s worth reading the December 27th post on the coloradopols blog, “The Slaughter of Amendment 66 and How it Changed School Board Outcomes“.
The blogger says, in part, “But the more immediate impact of November’s election (aside from the money that schools will not receive from 66), was felt in local school board elections in counties like Jefferson and Douglas. The Jefferson County School Board, for example, is now controlled by right-wing, pro-voucher forces that have already made clear their intention to ignore the public and ram through their own initiatives. The Jeffco School Board flipped when all three open seats went to right-wing candidates; but if the Amendment 66 campaign hadn’t done so little to promote turnout among a public education-supportive base, it’s likely that at least one of those three seats would have gone to a more moderate candidate and prevented wholesale radical changes.”
Historically, we like to think that school district elections, issues, problems, and triumphs are somehow disconnected from the bigger world. That’s why school board elections are defined as “non-partisan”. This is a mirage. As John Donne so famously noted, “No man is an island,” and neither are local elections uninfluenced by state-wide and even nation-wide movements, actions, and fights. Going forward we need to keep aware that outside forces and issues will have enormous impact on our school district. We can no longer afford the mirage that the future of JeffCo Public Schools is determined only by JeffCo Public School issues.