|Board Member, Douglas County School District, District G|
|Years in position||2|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||November 5, 2013|
|Term limits||Two consecutive terms|
|Bachelor's||University of Tennessee, Knoxville|
|Master's||East Tennessee State University|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 Campaign themes
- 4 What was at stake?
- 5 About the district
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Reynolds earned B.S. in Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a M.Ed. in Education from East Tennessee State University. She worked as a Program Director for the Central Florida YMCA, in recreation at Walt Disney World, and as an Exercise Physiologist for Baptist Hospital Center for Health and Wellness in Nashville, TN. After moving to the Denver area she spent 6 years as an Exercise Physiologist for Aurora Denver Cardiology Associates, before becoming a stay-at-home mom and active school volunteer. She serves on the District Accountability Committee, the Franktown Elementary’s School Accountability Committee and is a Girl Scout leader. Reynolds is a Castle Rock resident and has three school aged children. She regularly attends district school board meetings
Reynolds ran against fellow challenger Julie Keim for the District D seat in the general election on November 5, 2013.
|Douglas County School Board of Directors, Four-year term, District D, 2013|
|Source: Douglas County Elections, "2013 Coordinated Election," November 21, 2013|
Reynolds was endorsed by the Douglas County Republican Party for the 2013 election.
Reynold's campaign website listed the following campaign themes for 2013:
"Site-based budgeting makes Douglas County School District unique. It allows the decision-making process to take place at the school level. Principals, teachers and parents all have input. They make the decisions about staffing, curriculum, calendars, safety, and the UIP (Unified Improvement Plan).
Principals are given their budget, which is based on the number of students, and the anticipated per pupil revenue (PPR). The principal, teachers, PTO representatives, parents, and community members come together to discuss the priorities of their school. These discussions revolve around student performance, class size, class offerings, supplemental staff (building resource teachers, reading recovery, gifted and talented, librarians, tech, enrichment, technology, etc). Since every school and community is different, it is extremely important that the budgeting decisions be made at the building level.
I support site-based budgeting because it allows each school to keep any money that is not spent in a specific budget year. This school carryover allows schools to save for a specific need or want in their community, and eliminates the “use it or lose it” mentality that can lead to wasteful and frivolous spending. This is a very different process from the traditional top-down model that is used in most districts and I believe that schools benefit from this process."
"I support parental choice in education. Why? Because,I believe that no school district can be all things to all students. I believe that there are a small number of children whose needs cannot be met; the reasons are as wide and as varied as the children. The majority of students have their needs met in our district schools, but some students have needs that are better served in private schools. I believe that when teachers, principals, parents, and administrators have worked together and have not been able to provide for the needs of that child, that it is best to help them find a solution that can provide the best possible education to that child, even it is found outside the public school system.
The proposed Choice Scholarship Program is simply an extension of open enrollment that is already offered to parents and students: open enrollment that is not just within the district, but, across district lines. The Choice Scholarship Program is in the hands of the Colorado Supreme Court. They have not yet decided if they will hear the appeal; that is expected to happen later this fall. Until there is a court decision, there can be no movement on this issue.
I also believe that, with all of the educational options available in our school district, the Choice Scholarship Program will affect very few children. Parents and students already have a wide variety of educational options available to them within the school district: neighborhood schools; open enrollment; charter schools; online schools; programs within schools such as IB (International Baccalaureate); AP (Advanced Placement); concurrent college enrollment; vocational and technical education options; schools with specific learning curriculum such as STEM, project based, core curriculum, and artful learning just to name a few.
Making sure that parents and students are aware of all of the potential options, and that they know and understand the enrollment process is critical to successful students. There should be an ongoing effort to ensure that this process is clear and easy to understand and follow, and, that the process is constantly being refined, updated, improved, and shared."
"I completly support Pay for Performance. Douglas County began a new teacher evaluation system (CITE) this year, and based teacher pay on the outcome. Teachers were rated highly effect, effective, approaching, does not meet, and both ongoing raises and bonuses were based on their outcome. Why is this important? Because it means that, for the first time, pay raises were based on performance. Traditionally, teachers have been compensated in a “step and lane” union formula that based pay on two things, years of service and degree credentials. This means that when raises are given, everyone is given the same percentage increase, regardless of performance. The new system gives those highest performing teachers the largest raise (both ongoing and bonuses) and those at the bottom of the scale got no increase. This means that, over time, the best teachers in our system stand to make substantially more than their underperforming peers."
"Common Core Standards are a set of educational standards created by the nation’s governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Colorado adopted the Common Core Standards in 2010 and became part of the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careeers) testing consortium with 19 other states in 2012.
Making sure that our children are college and career ready is the goal of K-12 education. Participation in standardized testing (think SAT, PSAT, ACT (including Explorer and Plan) etc, is nothing new. What is new is the effort to standardize education across not just district lines, but state lines as well.
I believe that this effort will take away local control of our children's education. Educational needs are a very personal issue, every child is different. In a time when more individual educational opportunities are being created, a one size fits all model is the wrong direction."
"Fiscal transparency and responsibility to taxpayers, students, and district staff are a vital responsibility of the Board of Education. Stakeholders have to know that their tax dollars are being spent in an efficient, effective, responsible manner, and that the school district is not budgeting and spending dollars that they do not have.The budget is audited annually, and the district financials are available on the district website.
Four years ago, our school district was in dire financial straits, having to us a letter of credit to cover the state required TABOR reserve of $13 million dollars, laying off teachers and freezing pay because the previous superintendent had negotiated a contract with the union that overpromised and depended on a mill levy election that failed. The district now holds the TABOR reserve in cash ($13 million), and additional BoE cash reserve of 3% + 1% of approximately $17 million as a rainy day fund, which is just under one month's payroll for the district. This is one time money that does not reoccur annually.
Administration has been cut by 20%, and the salaries of union officials are no longer paid by the district. School based budgeting also allows each school to make budget and hiring decisions, and to carry any unspent funds forward to avoid a "use it or lose it," spend every dime mentality. Principals, with input from the School Accountability Committee (SAC) (which is made up of parents, teachers, community members, and the principal) then decide what the spending priorities are for their building. These discussions can revolve around class size, class offering, curriculum, needs of the building for things like reading recovery, gifted and talented, or any other resource that school needs."
Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.
What was at stake?
Four seats, including that of the board president, were at stake. John Carson, the incumbent in District B, was not running for re-election. Barbra Chase Burke and James Geddes were running for election to the seat. Carson, who was first elected to the board in 2005, was ineligible to run for another term because of Amendment 17 to the Colorado Constitution, which says that no "elected official of any...school district....shall serve more than two consecutive terms in office."
The District D race included newcomers Reynolds and Julie Keim running for the seat currently held by Carrie Mendoza. Stephen Boyd announced that he would run in the District D race but withdrew before filing his nomination petition so that he would not "split the vote." Incumbent Doug Benevento faced challenger Bill Hodges in the District E race. Ronda Scholting filed with the Colorado Secretary of State to challenge for Meghann Silverthorn's seat in District G.
DougCo Parents Want Change
Alleged campaign violations
District D candidate Julie Keim filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State on October 17, 2013, alleging that the school district used resources to support its preferred school board candidates and to deny challengers information regarding the involvement of outside groups and individuals in the election. Keim requested copies of emails between district officials with supporters including Americans for Prosperity, the Independence Institute and campaign contributors like Alex Cranberg and Ralph Nagel. Texas businessman Alex Cranberg and investment banker Ralph Nagel co-founded the Alliance for Choice in Education to promote school choice and contributed approximately 89% of the $156,701.50 in campaign donations reported by Doug Benevento, James Geddes, Judi Reynolds and Meghann Silverthorn.
District administration conducted a search for the requested correspondence that turned up more than 13,000 e-mails, 101 of which Keim had received by October 23. She criticized administrators for the slow pace and claimed, "I think they’re trying to delay so nothing can be exposed before the election. [...]I want them to be open and honest and truly transparent about what is going on with all these organizations. It’s concerning to me so many people who are not local have such a voice in our future." School board Vice President Kevin Larsen responded to her allegations by labeling them "[...]a patently frivolous political stunt masquerading as a complaint." District legal counsel Rob Ross explained the delay by stating that each e-mail must be reviewed by district personnel for legally protected information before being disclosed.
Administrative Law Judge Hollyce Farrell ruled in December 2013 that the district violated the Fair Campaign Practices Act by using public funds to commission a report that promoted reform policies during the 2013 campaign. The district used $15,000 in public funds to pay Rick Hess, an education expert with the American Enterprise Institute, to write a report titled "The Most Interesting School District in America?" Farrell concluded that the report was an improper use of funds on behalf of incumbents seeking re-election. Farrell did not require a fine from the district, which plans to appeal the decision in higher court.
Audio editing controversy
In late September, Meghann Silverthorn accused challenger Ronda Scholting of selectively editing a September 13 interview between Silverthorn and local radio host Mike Rosen. The interview featured a discussion of the motivations behind efforts to replace current board members in the 2013 election. Rosen stated, "These are nice, well-meaning, naive soccer moms who can’t distinguish between an individual teacher and the collective menace and intransigence of a teachers’ union with its political power" and Silverthorn agreed with the statement. Scholting's ad includes Rosen saying, "You’re up against mostly women. Nice, well-meaning, naive soccer moms," and audio of Silverthorn's agreement with Rosen. Scholting notes that her editing was comparable to techniques used by broadcast journalists while Silverthorn believes the ad does not truly represent her position on district policies.
Rally outside district offices
A September 27 demonstration outside of the district's administrative offices featured 200 attendees marching in support of local teachers. Demonstrators held signs that supported teachers and opposed the board's reform efforts over the past four years. According to interviews with the Denver Post, attendees argued that teachers were frustrated by limited instructional time, new evaluations and the district's attitude toward instructional staff. District officials have countered these claims by citing internal surveys with teachers that revealed high morale and greater flexibility in the classroom.
Involvement of community groups
Local groups ramped up efforts to support incumbents and challengers in the 2013 election. DougCo Champions for Kids is a non-profit that is also registered as a part of Texas-based firm C3 Solutions. This organization supported the reform efforts of the current board through direct mail and door-to-door campaigning. DougCo Champions for Kids received some funding from the Independence Institute, a Denver-based think tank that promotes free market principles. The C3 Solutions executive board features two officers who are affiliated with the institute. Another pro-board group is the Douglas County Education Alliance, which has been connected with an Arizona consultancy called DC-London founded by Republican adviser Sean Noble.
Challengers in the 2013 race were supported by a non-profit called the Strong Schools Coalition and a political action committee (PAC) called Douglas County Parents. Strong Schools Coalition received $4,000 in donations according to group president Lauren Mutton. The group stated that it is self-funded with contributions from Taxpayers for Public Education used for legal fees associated with a lawsuit against the district's voucher program.
Americans for Prosperity, "It's Working"
Board reform efforts
The board's reform efforts including a voucher program, dissolution of the teachers' union agreement and a pay-for-performance plan became the focus of attention in the 2013 campaign. Strong Schools Coalition led efforts to reverse some of these reforms and eliminate political involvement in board functions. The state chapter of Americans for Prosperity ran ads in the region starting in August supporting the board's reform efforts while admonishing critics.
Partisanship in board races
Though Colorado school boards are officially nonpartisan, Douglas County has drawn attention for the involvement of the local Republican Party in board elections. In the 2009 and 2011 elections, the Douglas County Republican Party endorsed the six current members and former member Dan Gerken. The party endorsed incumbents Doug Benevento and Meghann Silverthorn as well as challengers James Geddes and Judi Reynolds for the 2013 campaign. Former District G candidate Nicholas Land criticized the board as too loyal to the Republican Party and wanted the board to represent the entire community regardless of partisan affiliation. Former District D candidate Kevin Leung refused to interview with the Douglas County Republicans after starting his campaign. "I believe that local, nonpartisan school board elections should not be drawn into party politics. Decisions and agendas should not become strongly influenced by party ideologies instead of serving the people and the children in our schools," said Leung.
About the district
- See also: Douglas County School District, Colorado
Douglas County outperforms the rest of Colorado based on average household income, poverty rate and graduation rates in 2011. The average household income in Douglas County was $101,193 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Douglas County was 3.5% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 54.6% of Douglas County residents aged 25 years and older attained a bachelor's degree compared to a 36.3% in Colorado.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Judi + Reynolds + Douglas + County + Schools"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Colorado school districts
- Douglas County School District elections (2013)
- Douglas County School District, Colorado
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
Cite error: Invalid
- Judi Reynolds 4 DCSD, "About Judi," accessed October 22, 2013
- Colorado TRACER, "Candidate Detail," accessed December 20, 2013
- "OurHighlandRanchNews.com," "Local Republicans endorse candidates," accessed August 30, 2013 (dead link)
- Judi Reynolds 4 DCSD, "Issues," accessed October 22, 2013
- Jane Reuter, OurParkerNews.com, "Candidate field changes as election draws closer," August 22, 2013
- Jane Reuter, OurHighlandsRanchNews.com, "Candidate alleges campaign violation," October 23, 2013
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Cite error: Invalid
- Zahira Torres, Denver Post, "Judge: Douglas County school district violated fair campaign laws," December 27, 2013
- Jane Reuter, Our Colorado News, "Radio show cut ignites candidate controversy," September 30, 2013
- Carlos Illescas, Denver Post, "More than 200 people rally against Douglas County school policies," September 27, 2013
- Jane Reuter, Our Colorado News, "Variety of groups joining school fray," September 25, 2013
- Jane Reuter, OurLoneTreeNews.com, "Petition decries politics in school elections," August 21, 2013
- Jane Reuter, OurLoneTreeNews.com, "School board election gearing up," July 8, 2013
- Jane Reuter, OurCastleRockNews.com, "Douglas County GOP hosts school board," January 19, 2013
- Jane Reuter, Highlands Ranch News, "Local Republicans endorse candidates," August 19, 2013
- Clayton Woullard, DenverPost.com, "Douglas County teen to run for school board," June 26, 2013 (dead link)
- Kevin Leung, EdNews Voices, "Voices: Declining a party endorsement in school board elections," July 25, 2013
- U.S. Census, "Douglas County Quick Facts, accessed July 16, 2013
- Colorado Secretary of State, “Voter Registration Numbers,” Accessed July 19, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014