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on Sun, 10/22/2017 - 16:32

Taxpayers for Public Education does not endorse candidates, but we do want citizens to have an understanding of where school board candidates stand on the importance of public funding to public schools. As we have the past three Douglas County school board election cycles, we sent a survey to the eight candidates running for the Director of Douglas County Board of Education. Four candidates, Anthony Graziano, Krista Holtzmann, Kevin Leung and Chris Schor answered our survey questions. Four candidates did not acknowledge our survey. This is not only disappointing, but it is also discouraging.

Voters can make better decisions when fully informed. It’s disappointing because the non-responsive slate of candidates states publicly that they want to engage the community, yet they refuse to complete a survey issued by a community organization that has been involved in Douglas County schools for the past six years.

All eight Douglas County School Board candidates answered a survey created by an online education news outlet, ChalkBeat Colorado. Candidate Scheffel made the following statement in response to a voucher question, “In 2011, Douglas County created the Choice Scholarship Program to help low-income families send their children to a private school that best suits their child’s needs, some of which are religious schools.” (full answer to the voucher question) 

I would like to correct Candidate Scheffel’s statement. The Douglas County private school voucher program was not created to help low-income students. Income level was not a factor in the design of the program. In fact, the vast majority of applicants for the voucher planned on attending a private school in which tuition and fees totaled $20,000 meaning that families would need to supplement the voucher to the tune of around $16,000. 

Additionally, Scheffel was a member of the State Board of Education when the state board assisted the Douglas County Board of Education in the design of the program.  Scheffel knows better. Any candidate with integrity would correct such an overt misstatement.  Click here to learn more about the original reasons for starting the DCSD Voucher Program.