Michael Kiley

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Michael Kiley
Michael Kiley.jpg
Former candidate for
Denver Board of Education, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sCalifornia Polytechnic State University
ProfessionProject manager
Campaign website
Michael Kiley campaign logo
Michael Kiley was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Denver Board of Education in Colorado. He lost his election bid against Barbara O'Brien on November 5, 2013.


Kiley earned a B.S. in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University. He is currently a project manager at Kronos. Kiley has been involved with Northwest Middle Schools Now since 2008. He and his wife, Donna, have two children.[1]



See also: Denver Public Schools elections (2013)


Kiley sought election to the board against fellow newcomers Barbara O'Brien and Joan Poston.


Denver Public Schools, Four-year term, At-large, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBarbara O'Brien 59.3% 63,554
     Nonpartisan Michael Kiley 31.2% 33,440
     Nonpartisan Joan Poston 9.4% 10,112
Total Votes 107,106
Source: Denver County Clerk and Recorder, "Final Official Election Results," accessed December 13, 2013


Kiley reported $47,151.90 in contributions and $38,331.85 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left his campaign with $8,820.05 on hand.[2]


Kiley received the following endorsements for his 2013 campaign:[3]

Campaign themes


Kiley provided the following statement explaining why he sought election to the board in 2013:[4]

"I’m Michael Kiley, and I’m running for the DPS School Board, At-Large. I am running to bring a renewed commitment to quality schools in every neighborhood of Denver, ensure that our DPS Administration is open and transparent with the community and is held accountable to Denver’s families, and to fight to bring sports, arts, world language, and extracurricular activities back to every school.

As an active supporter of our public schools, I’ve watched the DPS administration repeatedly let our school communities down. Changes to schools are decided by the administration with little community input. Community engagement by the administration is used to “sell” the administration decision, rather than partnering with the community on a mutually agreed school solution. In short, the administration has consistently demonstrated contempt for the community playing role in deciding the future of our public schools.

I share the frustration of parents, teachers, and community members around the city as we watch a divided, divisive board that has largely failed at authentic oversight over the DPS administration.

I was honored when a diverse group of people from all over Denver asked me to run for the DPS Board of Education as an At-Large Director.

I believe every child in DPS should have the same quality education that both my wife and I enjoyed when we attended traditional neighborhood schools. We benefited greatly from arts, athletics, world language, proven technology, and academic excellence, all in our neighborhood school."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Incumbents Mary Seawell, Andrea Merida and Jeannie Kaplan did not seek re-election to the at-large, District 2 and District 3 seats, respectively. A three-way race for the at-large seat featured Kiley, former Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien and Joan Poston. The District 2 race featured newcomers Rosario C. de Baca and Rosemary Rodriguez. Mike Johnson and Meg Schomp competed to replace Kaplan in District 3. Landri Taylor ran for re-election in District 4 against challenger Roger Kilgore.

Stances on Amendment 66

Colorado voters cast ballots on Amendment 66, a constitutional amendment that increases income taxes to support public education. The following table lists the publicly stated position of each Board of Education candidate on the amendment.

Stances on Amendment 66[5]
Candidate Stated position
Barbara O'Brien Support
Michael Kiley Support
Joan Poston Oppose
Rosario C. de Baca Support
Rosemary Rodriguez Support
Mike Johnson Support
Meg Schomp Support
Landri Taylor Support
Roger Kilgore Support

Conflict of interest concerns

Candidates for the at-large, District 3 and District 4 seats accused their opponents of conflicts of interest. At-large candidate Kiley pointed out that the district has a $350,000 contract with Get Smart Schools, a non-profit organization headed by Barbara O'Brien. O'Brien countered that Kiley's employer, Kronos, provides software to the district. District 3 candidate Meg Schomp believed opponent Mike Johnson could not meet the board's ethical standards due to his work as a school finance consultant. Johnson pointed out that Schomp's husband is an attorney who has represented the district in past legal actions.[6]

District 4 candidate Roger Kilgore asked his opponent, incumbent Landri Taylor, to resign due to a conflict-of-interest allegation. Kilgore noted that Taylor is the CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, which has a $142,962 contract with the district for after-school programs. Taylor criticized Kilgore's request and argued that the agreement occurred after Taylor was a board member. He also suggested that he would recuse himself if the board voted on issues related to agreements with the Urban League.[7]

School reform in Denver

The 2013 election has developed into a referendum on the reforms set in motion by Superintendent Tom Boasberg since his appointment in 2009. Boasberg has increased the district's emphasis on charter schools and closed poor-performing facilities. Opponents of Boasberg's reforms cite a persistent achievement gap between affluent and low-income student populations.[8]

The direction of the seven-member board could change significantly based on the results of this election. Three current members of the board are not seeking re-election. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) has endorsed at-large candidate Kiley, District 2 candidate Rosario C. de Baca, District 3 candidate Meg Schomp and Roger Kilgore in District 4. These candidates want to slow down or halt development of charter schools in the district. Democrats for Education Reform, a non-profit organization supporting Boasberg's reforms, has endorsed at-large candidate Barbara O'Brien, District 2 candidate Rosemary Rodriguez, Mike Johnson in District 3 and District 4 incumbent Landri Taylor.[9] With clear divisions between these two slates of candidates, Denver voters are able to express their views on district policies at the ballot box.

About the district

See also: Denver Public Schools, Colorado
Denver Public Schools is located in Denver County, CO
Denver Public Schools serves students in Denver, the county seat of Denver County, Colorado. According to the 2010 US Census, Denver is home to 600,158 residents.[10]


Denver outperformed the rest of Colorado in higher education achievement while lagging behind state rates for median income and poverty in 2010. The average household income in Denver was $47,499 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Denver was 18.8% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 41.3% of Denver residents aged 25 years and older earned a bachelor's degree compared to 36.3% in Colorado.[10]

Racial Demographics, 2010[10]
Race Denver (%) Colorado (%)
White 68.9 81.3
Black or African American 10.2 4
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.4 1.1
Asian 3.4 2.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 4.1 3.4
Hispanic or Latino 31.8 20.7

Party Affiliation, 2013[11]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 164,196 50.5
Unaffiliated 103,119 31.7
Republican 53,385 16.4
Libertarian 2,880 0.9
Green 1,187 0.4
American Constitution 630 0.2

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.[12]

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