Updated 6 p.m. – A sixth candidate surfaced Thursday in the race for the at-large seat on the Denver Public Schools board of education that is to be vacated by the term-limited Theresa Peña.
The last-minute candidate is Loralie Cole, who in 2009-2010 served on the board of directors for the Denver Classroom Teachers Association.
The first association under “interests and activities” on Cole’s Facebook page is Democrats for Excellent Neighborhood School Education or DeFENSE, an organization that was instrumental in the failed recall attempt earlier this year of DPS board president Nate Easley. DeFENSE is also a consistent critic of the reform policies of DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg. School board member Andrea Merida is affiliated with the group.
Cole could not be reached for comment late Thursday. She teaches at Trevista at Horace Mann ECE-8 school in northwest Denver.
By taking out a petition Thursday, Cole gives herself just one day to turn in the required 50 signatures of registered Denver voters. Candidates running for the DPS board could start collecting signatures on Aug. 3. All other candidates had taken out petitions in the first week of August and, by Thursday, they had not only turned in their petitions but had been notified they had submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures.
Cole must turn in at least 50 valid signatures by 5 p.m. Friday to qualify for the Nov. 1 ballot.
The other candidates for Peña’s seat are John Daniel, Frank Deserino, Happy Haynes, Roger Kilgore and Jacqui Shumway.
The state’s largest school district is offering community members the chance to learn in-depth about the district’s budget – and then to help district leaders make what will likely be another round of cuts for 2012-13.
Jefferson County Public Schools is hosting the Citizens Budget Academy, consisting of six weeks of meetings on various aspects of the district’s budget, from employee compensation to special education. Each meeting or “course” will last two hours, from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, starting Sept. 6.
Those who attend at least five of the six sessions will be eligible to participate in district budget workgroups and the Citizens’ Advisory Budget Council as district leaders begin the now-familiar battle of growing expenses vs. shrinking revenues.
For 2011-12, Jeffco school board members agreed to cuts that included the closure of two elementary schools, trimming two days from the school year and charging students to ride school buses. All employees’ pay was cut by 3 percent and 212 jobs were reduced across the district.
Want to learn more about how school funding works – or doesn’t – on the ground? Participants are asked to register in advance and Sunday, Aug. 29, is the deadline. Meetings will take place at district headquarters in Golden. More details.
What’s on tap:
Speaking of Jeffco, school board members have a study session at 5 p.m. today at the district’s administrative headquarters, 1829 Denver West Drive in Golden. The agenda includes a discussion of staff compensation and the issuance of tax anticipation notes to cover an expected cash shortfall before most district revenues begin flowing in March.
Good reads from elsewhere:
Because history matters – Our partners at Education Week have created an interactive timeline of 30 years of education milestones, from 1981, the era of Ronald Reagan, through today with Barack Obama.
Twitter town hall – U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan – who admits to being a Twitter novice – talked Wednesday to journalist John Merrow, who managed to get in some questions tweeted by those listening/watching. Watch the video or read the highlights.