Eagle County’s politically plugged-in sooper picked to lead Jeffco schools
Author: Dan Njegomir - May 3, 2017 - Updated: June 6, 2017
Last time we reported on Jason Glass — he’s the superintendent of Eagle County Schools — it was when he penned a politically astute column for his local newspaper, the Vail Daily, that audaciously pitched a compromise to the legislature:
The grand bargain would be for the Colorado legislature to pass the charter school equalization bill with the caveat that the Hospital Provider Fee be reclassified as an enterprise fund and made available for education funding.
Agree with him or not, you had to give him points for breaking out of the staid and starched mold of school soopers with his proposal to wheel and deal like a pol at the Capitol. (Never mind that, for all the wheeling and dealing under the Dome during the 2017 legislature, accord has yet to be reached on either charter school funding or overall school funding.)
That was in January, and as we noted at the time, his commentary displayed keen insights about how politics really works in the state legislature and beyond. It seemed as if he were bound for bigger things and, sure enough, Chalkbeat Colorado reports that’s exactly what’s next for Glass:
Outspoken Eagle County Schools superintendent Jason Glass is the sole finalist for the superintendent position in Jeffco Public Schools, the state’s second largest district and one that has experienced political upheaval in recent years.
The Jeffco school board called a special meeting Monday to affirm the pick after two days of interviews with six applicants last week.
…During the next two weeks, the district will work on a contract proposal with Glass. The board is set to vote on the contract May 16 in a public meeting.
Outspoken, he is. In his weekly column for the Vail Daily, Glass hasn’t hesitated to mix it up in politics and isn’t shy about his views. Like his column a few weeks ago taking on new Trump administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos:
Betsy DeVos is an ideological one-trick-pony who trots out test data to blame and shame schools and then asserts her “let a thousand flowers bloom” approach to school privatization as the shining-silver-bullet solution.
Of course, Jefferson County’s public school system, the state’s second-largest school district, is no stranger to political controversy. The district was the scene of a no-holds-barred recall election in 2015 that ousted a three-member, pro-education-reform majority from its school board, and wounds are still healing.
Earlier this year, the new board dumped Dan McMinimee, the superintendent hired three years earlier by the previous board, setting off the search that led to Glass. The previous board, by the way, had effectively run out longtime Jeffco Superintendent Cindy Stevenson; she resigned even before her planned retirement after complaining she didn’t have that board’s support.
If Glass is craving the rough and tumble of hardball politics, he should feel right at home.