Denver election results: union to hold 7 school board seats


The Denver School Board is once again politically unanimous – but conversely, that was four years ago. In a complete turnaround, the seven members will now be supported by the Denver teachers’ union instead of education reform organizations.

Rob Gould, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, and Carrie Olson, president of the school board, said they saw the result as a vote of confidence in the teachers.

Olson, who was re-elected for a second term, said when knocking on doors and addressing voters: “A lot of people were like, ‘Oh, are you backed by the teachers’ union? I support the teachers. I love my son’s teacher. I love my daughter’s teacher.

Table 7-0 shows voters trust educators to know what’s best for students, Gould said, “Denver and our constituents really said, ‘Wait a minute. Yes, we are listening to the voice of educators.

But Parker Baxter, director of the Center for Education Policy Analysis at the University of Colorado at Denver, said the interpretation ignores non-union educators, including teachers who work in the 58 schools. charter from Denver.

It is clear, Baxter said, that those interested enough to vote in this election favored the union-backed candidates. “But it’s very difficult to say what that means,” he said. “I think the rubber meets the road when real decisions have to be made.”

In statements emailed to the Losers List supporters called on the new board to keep student achievement and well-being at the forefront and remember that many families in Denver value choice. from school.

“I would have liked to have seen greater voter engagement in these critical races,” wrote former Denver school board member Rosemary Rodriguez. “I am grateful to the voters who voted and congratulate all the newly elected members of the Board of Education.

“I hope this new board will be able to overcome the divisions of the past two years. Our community must come together to develop a clear strategy to move all students forward. ”

After a late increase in ballots on Election Day and three and a half days of counting, the Denver Electoral Division released the final unofficial vote count on Friday evening. More than 136,000 people – or 29% of registered voters – voted in the city’s school board race, up from 131,798 in the 2019 election.

Scott Esserman, a parent and former teacher, won the race for a general seat on the school board representing the entire city. In a field crowded with five candidates, he collected 40% of the vote. He will replace Barbara O’Brien, a member of the board of directors with a limited mandate.

Olson, a former Denver teacher who was first elected in 2017, easily beat a challenger to be re-elected in Mid-East District 3 with 70% of the vote.

The race in northeast District 4 ended up being the closest. Among three candidates, Michelle Quattlebaum, a family affair at a high school in Denver, won 43% of the vote to win the seat. She will replace vice-chair of the board of directors Jennifer Bacon, who was not a candidate for re-election.

In the southwest of District 2, Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytán’s share of votes widened to 53% on Friday in a two-man contest. Gaytán, parent and real estate agent, will replace board member Angela Cobián, who defeated Gaytán for the seat in 2017 but did not run for a second term.

The four will join board members Tay Anderson, Scott Baldermann and Brad Laurvick, who were elected in 2019 with the support of the teachers’ union in a historic ‘turnaround’. Before that, Denver had been a national example of educational reform and cooperation with charter schools. From 2015 to 2017, supporters of education reform policies had unanimous control of the council.

Over the past two years, the union-backed board has rolled back or halted many reforms put in place by previous councils. For example, the council voted to reopen two comprehensive high schools – Montbello High and West High – that previous councils had dismantled.

Current board members also got rid of a controversial school rating system that previous boards used to justify closing low-grade schools in an attempt to improve academic performance. And they tried to delay the opening of a new DSST charter high school, but the State Board of Education overturned that decision.

Gould said the union’s priorities for the next two years – until the next school board election – include advocating for the board to increase mental health support for students and teachers, ensuring that every school have a nurse on site every day, reducing class sizes and caseloads, and increasing support for students with disabilities.

“All of these basic things – every school should have them,” he said.

Gould said he was proud that educators had made their voices heard on what he called a “juggernaut” of external spending – over $ 1 million – by education reform groups in the world. support from a different list of candidates. Teacher unions spent less than half of that amount to support the list of winners.

Gould said he did not see the election results as a defeat of education reform, but as a realization that teachers should be trusted to do what is right for students.

“Instead of continuing to accumulate more experiences, it got to the point where it was like, ‘let’s listen to the practitioners’,” Gould said.

Overall Denver Public Schools Results

Winner Candidate Votes Percentage
Winner Candidate Votes Percentage
Marla F. Benavides 20 066 14.7%
Jane shirley 21,589 15.8%
?? Scott esserman 54,663 40.1%
Nicky yollick 7,896 5.8%
Vernon Jones Jr. 32,081 23.5%

Denver Public Schools District 2 Results

Winner Candidate Votes Percentage
Winner Candidate Votes Percentage
Karolina Villagrana 8,009 46.8%
?? Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytan 9,100 53.2%

Denver District 3 Public Schools Results

Winner Candidate Votes Percentage
Winner Candidate Votes Percentage
?? Carrie A. Olson 22 146 69.7%
Mike DeGuire 9 623 30.3%

Denver District 4 Public Schools Results

Winner Candidate Votes Percentage
Winner Candidate Votes Percentage
?? Michelle Quattlebaum 10,903 43.3%
Jose silva 3,803 15.1%
Gene Fashaw 10,449 41.5%
Andrea Mosby 0 0.0%

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