Update, 10/29: Rumors have spread, including in my own comment section, that candidate Laura Boggs has plans to close down Green Mountain and Wheat Ridge high schools. There is no truth to these rumors, and the candidate herself has debunked them. Furthermore, in today’s Denver Post story about Jeffco Schools considering closures, it reads: “Closing an elementary school building saves about $300,000 a year on fixed costs; closing a middle school saves $800,000 to $1 million; and shutting down a high school — which is not one of the district’s 45 options — saves $3 million a year.” [emphasis added]
Several people this week have asked for my insights on whom to support for school board here in Jefferson County — Colorado’s largest school district based in Denver’s western suburbs. So I decided to post my answer in public for many more to see.
The one candidate I can unequivocally urge you to vote for is Laura Boggs. I have spoken with her by phone on a couple occasions and am confident in her strong credentials in favor of parental choice and district financial accountability and transparency.
On the other hand, JCEA (the local teachers union) is backing Robin Johnson, Sue Marinelli, and Paula Noonan. The union has have plenty of money to spend on behalf of its chosen candidates. All I can afford to do is use this tiny bit of cyberspace to give my personal endorsement to Laura Boggs.
Jeff Sacco says
Laura Boggs and Rick Rush will put Jeffco Public Schools on a path to excellence. Please come visit with Laura Boggs at the next Liberty On The Rocks (Red Rocks) happy hour on October 19th. See details at RedRocks.LibertyOnTheRocks.com.
I don’t know as much about Rick Rush, but look forward to the opportunity to hear him next Monday. Thanks for the invitation notice, Jeff!
Thank you for posting this. I needed to know who the teachers union is backing so I can vote for the other candidates. This is the first place I found. I only voted for 2, Laura and Richard.
My vote goes to Laura and Richard. I won’t vote for a candidate that has the support of the teachers union! It is unfortunate this information is not more visible for the general public
Thank you for post. I am new to the area and I am looking for candidates that will not be influenecd by unions and lobbying groups.
“I only voted for 2, Laura and Richard.” – Same here.
Do you find any conflict in letting these ‘teachers’ plant learning and intelligence in your kids, while despising the group the teachers have formed? When I vote for school board members I ask the teachers who they think will aid them in doing the best job. They should know.
Quite an observation. So 100% of teachers support the union? I can introduce you to some who view things otherwise. Why do roughly 20% of Jeffco teachers choose not to belong to the union? This in spite of the fact that the union has exclusive access to new teacher induction, teacher mailboxes, etc., etc.
Could it possibly be that a significant number of teachers belong because: a) they have been misleading in believing they have to join, b) peer pressure from colleagues, and/or c) they falsely believe there are no other reasonable options for liability insurance or legal protection?
Or maybe you believe that 97% of teachers vote Democrat (because that’s the way the unions spend their money on political action)?
What % of Jeffco teachers are voting for some or all of the union-endorsed candidates? That would be an interesting question to answer. But I can assure you that teachers are not in lockstep with the union. And questioning the union’s agenda doesn’t necessarily mean one despises the union. So which teachers did you ask? Or did you just read the JCEA newsletter?
When I vote for school board members, I do my best to study their positions and values (how well do they respect the rights of parents and taxpayers?), and make decisions on my own.
Go Laura and Rich
I concur, I’d like to see some of this transparency career politcians are so proud to boast of. Thanks for the heads up.
Would love to have more parent involvement and transparency. As a teacher Ms. Martinelli was resistant to having a parent observe or make suggestions in the classroom. This seems to be a district wide attitude. Please do not secrect our children away from us and teach them things we disagree with!
If we send this information to people that we know here in Jeffco and go vote then we have a chance. Since this is an off year most people won’t take notice.
There are many good teachers out there but the union is about the union not the kids or the parents. State run schools are relatively new in this country. Lets get back to local control.
Laura Boggs vision for Jeffco includes closing down Green Mountain High School, and Wheatridge High School, to save $ for the district. You can call GMHS and ask for yourself.
Thanks for the recommendation. Based on this, I have strongly cast my votes for Robin, Sue, and Paula! Thanks again!
There’s always one in every crowd….
There’s more than one in this crowd, Ben.
This blog has confirmed my votes for Robin, Sue, and Paula.
Can’t change everyone’s mind. If you come here thinking the teachers union is the best thing since sliced bread, it may take a lot of time and persuasion to win you over. Thanks for taking time to stop by.
Laura and Richard have my vote!!!!
My vote will not be with Laura and Richard, and it has nothing to do with the teacher’s union.
Thanks you for the information. The teachers’ union is the biggest stumbling block to education reform nationwide. Boggs and Rush have my vote.
Thanks for the insight.. This, in addition to a few other web links, have helped an uninformed voter make a decision. Eliminating the Union’s influence will be a major step in improving the quality of education and the financial well-being of Jeffco. The double standard of holding a student accountable for results, while the teacher is shielded by the Union for lack of results, needs to stop now.
bree, Are you willing to explain your reasoning? How might it help my readers make up their minds?
Laura Boggs is on a facilities usage committee, which gives recommendations on budgeting the Jefferson County public schools. I have a problem with some of her recommendations for saving the district money. So, being on the committee, and now running for school board gives her a powerful advantage.
We have “saved” our way into the dumbest batch of kids on the planet. A little more “fiscal conservatism” and the kids here will be too stupid to blow their noses.
Quit using label politics, Stop leaching on the past. Pay the taxes necessary to fund the teachers and students, and get out of the way.
If you know how to teach, teach. If you don’t know how to teach, learn to help. Support the kids. Pay the taxes.
Sam, That analysis makes a false presumption about “saving” … Where, I might ask? Per-pupil spending in Colorado and the United States has been on an upward spiral for the past four decades. We spend twice as many dollars per student (after inflation) now as then. The issue isn’t about saving or spending. It’s about examining new approaches and systems that give a better return on the tax revenues spent on K-12 schools (currently around $10,000 per student here).
So just keep spending more and more, and eventually that will help the kids like we need it to do? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.
Thanks for the info. I will only support a candidate who feels that unions are beneficial to workers, whether they are a garbage collector, tradesman or teacher. Too many have forgotten why unions were created in the first place. Laura’s experience is strictly from management at large corporations which have a reputation of exploiting their workforce. I too have children who have graduated from Jeffco schools, but that doesn’t qualify me for the position of Director.
Jim, Thanks for your comment. We could have a debate about the significant differences between unions in the private sector vs. the public sector, or whether unions as a whole have outlived their historical purpose — and if so, to what extent. If you’re prepared to have your thinking challenged, that is.
And what does qualify someone for the position of school board director? In the Douglas County race, some have attacked a certain candidate as being unqualified because she doesn’t have children. You’re saying that having children doesn’t necessarily qualify you either. I tend to agree.
The Smart John says
Thank you for posting on this website. I’m glad Paula called and left a message to check her website. I couldn’t find anything in the newspapers except for the sentinel. The had a split decision between JCEA’s recommendation and theirs. But I couldn’t find any other info on any of the candidates. Zilch on their philosophies or anything. When I saw JCEA’s recommendations, I knew how I had to vote. My wife is a teacher in Jeffco. We are conservatives. She is a member of JCEA reluctantly, unkowingly whatever. She said she was under the impression it was mandatory they belonged to it. Most of their emails come to me because at the time she became a teacher, she didn’t use computers at all. She used my email address. That has drastically changed, but, they still send me the emails. Much of what I see from them, I don’t support. That is why I am voting for Laura and Richard!!!!!
Thanks, Ben for the forum for information. My first time on your blogsite and it was very useful in helping this miniscule part of the 20% of the teaching force who does not belong to the teacher’s union decide to vote for Laura and Richard!
So this election has turned into another anti-union rant. I know Laura Boggs & definitely will NOT be voting for her, nor will my husband. Regarding her in-class experience, ask some of the kids she’s been in charge of as a helper & as a room parent. I still regret that I did not report her for not allowing my son (in 3rd grade) to go to the bathroom when he asked & further more told him if he insisted on going, she’d follow him & watch. Yes, that’s Laura for you. I’ve heard similar complaints from other parents regarding classroom parties for which she’s in charge. She’ll make sure your children are miserable, so if that’s what you want for your kids, vote for her, but I will not. Also, just where in God’s name is she proposing to put the students at GMHS if she has her way & closes it. The schools are full. And finally, I honestly don’t know about union membership being required for teachers, but, if you want to decline the pay, the benefits, the pension, the vacation, etc, you don’t have to take the job, believe me there are hundreds if not thousands of unemployed teachers out there who would gladly take it.
She wants to CLOSE GMHS and WRHS?? Instead of closing those two schools, how about closing D’Evelyn High School instead? I’ll bet she would NEVER consider this!!
First of all, the best I can tell, the GMHS / WRHS closure bit is an unfounded rumor. I’m still waiting for something other than hearsay, as I haven’t seen or heard it from the candidate herself. But why in the world would you want to close D’Evelyn, the district’s top performing HS? She would be smart NEVER to consider that.
The Smart John says
I just corresponded with Laura regarding the closing of the High Schools. She said several proposals were discussed at a facilities meeting but were infeasible. She said she didn’t support them anyway. She said that is misinformation that you posted. I hope people read far enough down that they are not deterred by your false comments!!!!!!!
Ben, you’re right! D’Evelyn is the highest performing HS. Therefore let’s send ALL the students from GMHS and WRHS there!!
Ralph, Thanks for the astounding leap in logic.
Laura has my vote. Can someone please answer as to why she is the ONLY candidate to suggest we need to become serious about reviewing the current administration? Does anyone understand that this IN FACT is why good teachers cannot get support!
This is why she will have my vote, everyone else is too scared to address some REAL issues!
Yes, it would be wonderful if all Jeffco children could attend D’Evelyn, but, as you know, Ralph & smart John, the feeder school is Dennison which has had a huge waiting list for years for kids trying to get into that back to basics school. After Dennison kids have been admitted, a small # of other kids are accepted, also there’s a wait list. As for D’Evelyn, total enrollment for 7th-12th appears to be between 900-1028 pupils. Where do you guys propose to put the almost 3000 from GMHS & Wheat Ridge HS?
Give it a rest, not sure if you posted that last comment before reading the DP or Bens update, since your firm on what you hear or read. Furthermore, that COMMITTE is made up of 33 people, not just Laura. One person DOES NOT get to stand up and say “put Green Mountain High School on the list” Does everyone understand the current board and administration support the “LIST” idea to the point of everyone getting their feathers ruffled, why do you react???? Do you have a personal issue with Laura because from your earlier post, you are very accusatory and you regret not having spoke up for your son, now????
Thank you!! I want people on the school board that believe in parental authority! Rush and Boggs have my vote!
My child goes to Dennison and the problem is why aren’t we taking their system and duplicating it in all of jeffco? The feedback we get from the district is they don’t think other students are cut out to be in that type of system. They seem to think it’s too hard. No that’s not the problem….we are expecting less from our kids now. I went to school in Jeffco 25 years ago and this is what I was learning back then and I’m no rocket scientist.
Today is the day Laura!!!! I believe the voters know we need the change, lets get er done!
I think once this board re-aligns we will start seeing some consistancy in accountability. Thats the whole problem; accountability. You dont need to be a rocket scientist to see this county is loosing pace with what works for kids vs. what makes us “look” good, and $ always makes us look good, right?. In addition to good looks: “choices”, new schools, fancy programs that really dont mean squat in the basics. Well somebody didnt get the memo that declining enrollment is a direct correaltion with poor performance. Increasing drop out rates are a direct correaltion with, yes, poor performance, AND the attitude of “its not our problem.” So many things wrong, so little time to get to work for our kids!
Laura Boggs is now on the school board. I don’t think people realize what they are in for. Recently at a meeting at one school, the principal jokingly commented that it was intimidating to have someone from the school board present, and she told him it is always intimidating when Laura is present. She has a few good ideas, attached to an immense personal agenda. She also has stated that if your child is not gifted/talented they are “common”. I think since school board has final say in the suggestions from the facilities usage committee, that she should not be able to participate in anymore facility usage committee decisions.
Well it seems like Laura Boggs will say one thing to become elected, then act in a completely different manner once she is in power. Her recent suggestions to cut teacher pay 4% across the board while employees contribute more to the PERA each year will bleed teaching families dry. Many families are hurting now, and the teacher is the sole income due to spouses losing work. Jeffco spends millions on their pet project, yet Laura wants to eliminate teachers from the classroom along with support staff, and have tight salaries of teachers butchered. She is clueless to what goes on inside of schools and in actual classrooms. I do not see her becoming a positive figure for the future of Jeffco.
An unpleased student says
Good choice in board member, now that she wants to cut teacher salery “so that all teachers can feel it” i am really glad i go to school where i might be affected by this ignorent plan. Wonder if those teachers that dont get paid well will even teach anymore, but for Laura Boggs it dosent matter, more jobs will become avalible for less qualified teachers with no other options.
Unpleased student, What grade are you in? It would be good to see district educational plans focused on improved spelling, grammar and logic.
What is the plan to close Jeffco’s budget gap? I don’t necessarily support the idea of cutting teacher salaries across the board, but the district is in a bad situation financially. Real reforms to the employee pay, evaluation and tenure systems would help, but couldn’t be achieved right away. The initial school closure plan (which Boggs supported) would have alleviated the problem enough to avoid having to cut teacher pay, but the public outcry was against it. Raise taxes? Can the district justify that?
Now your glorious school board member is interrupting classrooms and challenging the teacher to teach her. What a moronic, bi-polar, loose cannon of a board member. Can she act any more petulant?
Laura Boggs Strikes Again in Green Mountain HS Classroom
What would be your reaction if a school board member entered your classroom during CSAP week, interrupted student learning, and then proceeded to describe “school” as “stupid”? Outrage is too mild a word. But that is exactly what happened to a high school English teacher when his class was analyzing an author’s writing style and use of acronyms. Once again, rogue school board member Laura Boggs was the culprit.
According to witnesses, Mrs. Boggs deliberately interrupted student learning in a high school English class that was studying the use of acronyms. Upon entering the class Mrs. Boggs launched into a series of questions, took a seat in the front of the class, said “OK teach me; you can teach now,” and engaged at least one student in a side conversation. She then approached the white board and wrote the word “school” as if it were an acronym. Then, next to the letter “s,” she added the word “stupid.”
JCEA President Kerrie Dallman said, “It is important that we remember that all of this happened during CSAP week when teachers are desperately trying to keep their students motivated and focused. Those efforts are sabotaged when a member of the school board declares schools are stupid; the school board needs to put a stop to this atypical behavior by one of their own.”