By the end of the year, the Adams 14 school district will have up to four new faces on its five-member school board.
Voters in the district, which includes much of Commerce City and some parts of Thornton, will select three out of five candidates running in the Nov. 5 election.
No one signed up to run for the fourth seat, which is for a two-year term replacing Bill Hyde, who resigned in February. That means that after the election, the newly elected members and the current board member Connie Quintana will have to declare a vacancy to call for applicants, and will appoint someone to serve the two-year term.
This year, Adams 14 became the first district in Colorado to hire a private, for-profit consultant to take over day-to-day operations. The State Board of Education ordered the district hire an external manager in an effort to improve the academic achievement of students in the district after it had failed to improve on its own. The teachers union has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s order. That case is pending a decision.
The teachers union also made endorsements in the school board race. Describing them as candidates who can “change the trajectory” and “take back local control” of the district, the union is supporting Ramona Lewis, Regina Hurtado, and Reneé Lovato.
Three of the candidates refused to answer Chalkbeat’s questions despite repeated requests.
The candidates who did respond mention the district’s agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. That’s an agreement that Adams 14 entered into in 2014 after a federal investigation found the district had been discriminating against Hispanic families, students and staff, and violating the educational rights of students who didn’t speak English fluently. In part because of turnover in district leadership, the district has not yet complied with everything it agreed to do. You can read more about that, here.
To use our survey, readers can click on candidates’ names to show or hide their responses. The responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
For more information about this year’s election, click here for our previous coverage.