Bogey Man School Board Story in Colorado's Largest District Lifts Hopes

Hey, guess what everybody? I heard that some people running for office right now want not only to bring bogey men into little kids’ bedrooms like mine, but also to feed them (with whatever bogey men eat) and…. It’s just a rumor, you say? Well, someone should write a story about it anyway. Call the Denver Post, if you’re the teachers union that is:

There’s a major power play happening in the Jefferson County school-board race that could mean big changes in the near future, including a possible move, some say, to add vouchers to the slate of choices in the district.

Hats off to the Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) — aka the teachers union in Colorado’s largest school district — for getting their rumor printed as a headline and a lead. But I also thought the candidates they were trying to scare people about made a clear response:

“I’ve heard some of that stuff, but it’s unfounded,” [Jim] Powers said. “I never said anything about firing the superintendent. I never said anything about vouchers. I don’t think just because it says vouchers we should close our eyes and say no, and I don’t believe we should say yes, either.”

Why sure, don’t I wish more educational officials would embrace a broader vision of school choice? In lots of districts you can barely find enough local school board candidates to fill the open seats. But not everywhere is Douglas County, either. I’m realistic about that.

To me, the encouraging part of this Sunday story from the Denver Post is that while no candidates for the Jefferson County school board are ready to promote private school choice, they are seriously open-minded about the idea. I encourage readers, whether in Jeffco or another Colorado district, to do your homework about the candidates out there and look seriously at their experience, their visions, and whose interests they are primarily focused on promoting.

Meanwhile, I am glad to continue helping to educate people about why the V-word is not scary at all, but can be part of a bigger effort to reform, promote and encourage public education. So please save the bogey man talk for those other elections.