Merrifield-Windels Email: Pro-Charter School Backlash?

Overlooked in a lot of the brouhaha over now-former House Education Committee chair Mike Merrifield’s incendiary comments was the outright duplicity he and Senator Sue Windels (D-Arvada), fellow sponsor of Senate Bill 61, publicly shared to hide their true anti-charter school motives for the legislation. Michael at Best Destiny was one who caught the important point, which is also explained more fully in a new story from Colorado Senate News.

The highlight of the CSN story is that pro-school choice legislators are redoubling their efforts to ensure that SB 61 gets amended into a pro-charter school bill:

Now, [Republican Senator Nancy] Spence said she and [Democrat Senator Peter] Groff will push for that key provision – which lets the state grant up to three charters statewide that are modeled on Pueblo’s highly successful Cesar Chavez charter school for at-risk kids – into the bill in the conference committee.

Spence said she and fellow Republicans, as well as key members across the aisle, are angry and feel betrayed. In the wake of Merrifield’s resignation under fire, Republicans in the Senate demanded public reassurances from Windels.

The great revelation of the Merrifield-Windels Email may create more of a backlash in favor of charter schools than either of them could have expected – or wanted. A lot of charter school parents and supporters are being awakened.


  1. […] In the face of recent vitriolic opposition to charter schools in the Colorado legislature, Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy’s 2006 CSAP results just blow away comparison to public schools. Only 6 percent of Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy eighth-graders scored proficient in writing on the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests last year. […]

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