“Pay attention, get involved and don’t just read whatever your party puts out and believe it.”
Shawna Fritzler, a registered Republican, says school boards should be non-partisan. She says she learned the hard way in the 2011 election and voted party line (R). In the 2013 Jefferson County school board elections, Frtizler and Jonna Levine supported 3 board candidates who lost to a conservative majority. Fritzler and Levine, a registered Democrat, have co-founded Support Jeffco Kids a non-partisan organization to educate residents in the state’s largest school district about the importance of supporting public education for all kids.
Levine says the school board has made decisions contrary to the community’s wishes, including taking money from the mill bond budget and giving it to charter schools and to the Gifted and Talented programs which a recent community survey showed a lack of support for.
Hundreds of students walked out of Jeffco schools in 2014 to protest changes to the history curriculum that the school board was proposing.
Levine says they are trying to educate the entire community about the need to be aware of the school board, as nearly 75% of voters in the community don’t have contact with a public school, and may not know what’s going on in in the schools. “A school board has the authority to let teachers carry guns in the school for example.” Levine says the school board has the authority to make major decisions that can impact the entire community.
(Click here for previous coverage from KGNU of this story)