As we have stated many times, this November is a very important election for our Jeffco Public Schools for obvious reasons – we have 3 seats on our Jeffco board of education that are up for re-election.
But it’s also an important election because we have a lot of city council seats up for election.
We have been contacted by several candidates running for city council seeking our endorsement. You might ask why? How does one have to do with the other?
The leaders of our municipalities are and should be partners and supporters of our public schools. After all, a strong public school system makes for a stronger community, overall.
“Our public schools provide opportunities: a fair chance to get a decent job, to escape poverty, to support families, and to develop communities. Education is one of the most powerful instruments we have for investing in our future.” (Colorado Education Network)
One of the questions we ask candidates seeking our endorsement is what their position is on school vouchers, ESAs, and tax credits. As Support Jeffco Kids, we base our work on the support for Jeffco Public Schools and public education, especially opposing privatization (and tools used for privatization such as vouchers, ESAs, and tax credits) of our public schools. It is the heart of our advocacy.
Though City Councils do not as an entity vote on vouchers, tax credits, ESA’s, etc., as they pertain to public school funding, we believe candidates’ positions on this is an important Values statement. Our elected public officials’ opinion on this issue matters. City Councilors’ constituents will ask for their opinion, legislators will ask for their opinion, and should it ever become an issue the school board would consider, their input to the school board could make an impact.
As we’ve pointed out so many times here, any tools used to privatize public education would be bad for our students, schools and communities. It’s the “communities” part of this statement that pertains to our City Council men and women. Do you really want someone making decisions about our community who doesn’t also appreciate and support our public schools?
So yes, city council elections matter to us, and they should matter to you.
The following City Council candidates have received the SJK endorsement for 2017:
James Marsh-Holschen, Broomfield City Council, Ward 1
James understands that a strong City Council must work with and support the schools! He is opposed to vouchers, supports Safe2Tell, and will ensure that others understand their role in relation to the school district. “Public schools are the ultimate grantor of equality and opportunity for all children. To support equal, well-funded public schools is to support the future of all of our children.”
Kyra DeGruy, Lakewood City Council, Ward 1
Public schools are the foundation on which our society is built. They’re an opportunity to give kids an equal starting point, and to raise our community up. In my view, education is a basic human right, and we need to come together as a community to make sure we’re doing all we can to make it the best it can be.”
Charles K. Davis, Lakewood City Council, Ward 2
“Our public school system is the backbone and foundation of our country. It is woefully underfunded and has started to crumble. This needs to be resolved and turned around. ASAP.”
Bill Furman, Lakewood City Council, Ward 4
“The public schools are a place for all children and provide protections for all children. They provide an education unfettered by the biases of individual beliefs.”
Kathryn Skulley, Ph.D., Westminster City Council – at large
“Education of our children is an investment in our future. It is a right of every child. Without an education, poverty is a guarantee. Public education provides opportunity and access for all students to receive an education. By supporting public schools, we create equity and equality for everyone.”
City Council and other Candidates wanting endorsements for the November 2017 election, please visit this Google link and answer the questionnaire.