Why Colorado’s school board elections could prompt a boycott

Readers of Colorado’s school board elections website are well-versed in the controversy over the state’s controversial all-mail ballot system. But voters hoping to cast their ballot this Tuesday could also find that they have new options – and that they are being paid as a result.

Voters in Denver – in an election the Denver Post characterized as the first of its kind in the US – will see ballot in their mailboxes with four organizations in opposing groups registered, and races for the school board. One of the sponsors is Denver Public Schools, the district that is generally at the heart of the controversy.

But if voters go to vote Tuesday and don’t have a choice, they won’t be paying for a new school or leader or much else. The Colorado Independent reports that the “Denver Public Schools will be paying members of its school board up to $750 per month to endorse candidates, raise money for and manage campaigns… students, parents and community members will receive $75 per month, but that’s not all.”

Colorado law stipulates that representatives in the “labor peace and employee relations… or in education and public health and social welfare committees of public school boards and educational agencies” must be paid for their participation, regardless of the size of the organization or type of involvement they have.

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