The one billion-dollar school funding measure will be a challenge to pass, but one of its major barriers, the reputation of Denver Public Schools, has been significantly repaired in recent years by the combined efforts of the school reform movement, made up of the liberal wing of the local Democratic Party and many minority and business community leaders.
School board positions have been repeatedly won by DPS supporters who are not afraid to say yes to changes that organized labor oppose. The election campaigns over several cycles have been hard fought and expensive. Although the positions are not compensated, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to elect reformers.
By electing a reform majority, DPS has become a national model for effective and consistent political action.
Barbara O’Brien, the former Lt. Governor, is a DPS board candidate and is receiving the support of much of the city’s Democratic Party and the progressive business community. She will easily win.
Although the one billion-dollar school tax increase will likely pass in Denver, it must be justified to local voters who gave DPS millions in new tax override and bond revenue in 2012. But, the campaign is greatly aided by credible advocates, such as Ms. O’Brien.