Thursday, December 9, 2021
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Jeffco school board election 2021: The latest

Three of five seats on the Jeffco school board are up for grabs in an election that could change the direction of Colorado’s second-largest district.
The district has been controlled by a union-supported board majority since a recall in 2015. The union-supported candidates have had large sums of money behind their campaigns — much more than their opponents.
In 2019, one board member not supported by the union, Susan Miller, was elected. If two more candidates opposing the union slate win seats this year, they could flip the majority.
In addition to Miller, board member Stephanie Schooley, who is backed by the union, will remain on the board for two more years. Departing members include board President Susan Harmon and Brad Rupert, both union-supported, and Rick Rush, who was appointed to fill a vacant seat just under a year ago.
Members of the conservative slate opposing the current board majority say they want better financial management and more emphasis on improving test scores. Some of the conservative candidates have also criticized the district’s COVID mitigation measures and question the benefit of requiring children to wear masks.
Union-backed candidates talk about hiring and retaining high-quality staff, including teachers, and the need to support neighborhood schools, a term that refers to district-operated schools, in contrast to their opponents who want to protect school choice and options.
The new board will be responsible for overseeing the new superintendent, the pandemic recovery plan, and the rollout of a new elementary literacy curriculum. The district is also currently facing severe staffing shortages that have led to cuts in transportation and food service to students, which parents have called on the district to fix.
Of the more than 116,000 Jefferson County ballots returned by early afternoon Tuesday, 33% were cast by Democrats, 29% by Republicans, and 37% by unaffiliated voters, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

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