…That’s more or less what’s happening in nine — count ’em, nine — of the Pikes Peak region’s 17 school districts in this fall’s balloting, reports The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Debbie Kelley. A host of school board seats are uncontested in those districts; in some cases, there aren’t even enough candidates to fill board vacancies. And it’s resulting in the outright cancellation of elections where no ballot issues are in play.
In fact, it’s happening across the state — in stark contrast to some of the hotly contested school board races in places like Douglas County, Denver and Aurora.
Kathy Shannon, legal and policy counsel for the Colorado Association of School Boards, tells The Gazette’s Kelley a number of factors are in play. Among them:
“We’re in year nine of being severely underfunded, so it’s a much harder job today than it was even five years ago,” Shannon said. “School boards are facing a number of difficult decisions, and we’ve seen in rural areas if members make an unpopular decision, their business tanks.”
Term limits and geographic requirements also influence decisions not to seek school board seats, Shannon said.
And then there was this:
In Falcon District 49, where two candidates applied to fill three vacant seats, officials present another reason.
“We take it as a sign that people are happy with the direction of the district, where we are and where we’re going,” said D-49 spokesman Matt Meister.
Denver Public Schools, it ain’t. At least, not this year.