On the November 6 edition of 9 News, senior education policy analyst Ben DeGrow shared his thoughts on where Jefferson County Schools might go in the wake of a surprising election of three conservative reform candidates to the five-member board:
…he does not believe that everything happening in Douglas County will make its way into Jefferson County such as the push for school vouchers. He says it is a different population with different needs.
“The kind of reforms they are doing in Douglas County are certainly working well for that community in particular, but I haven’t heard anybody clamoring for at least the extent for those kinds of changes,” DeGrow said.
As of 2012-13, Jeffco is Colorado’s largest school district, serving more than 85,000 students. The newly elected board members — John Newkirk, Julie Williams, and Ken Witt — are expected to be sworn in on November 21, joining current directors Leslie Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman.
Teachers unions had a poor night in Colorado’s three largest school districts, with none of their favored candidates winning in the 11 board races. Denver Public Schools added two elected leaders in support of the superintendent’s pro-charter reform strategy, while Douglas County maintained its unanimous majority in favor of school choice and cutting-edge innovations.