Difference between revisions of "Bill Hodges"

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}}{{tnr}}'''Bill Hodges''' was a candidate for the Director District E seat on the [[Douglas County School District, Colorado | Douglas County Board of Education ]]. He was defeated by incumbent [[Doug Benevento]] in the [[Douglas County School District elections (2013)|school board election]] on November 5, 2013. Hodges' campaign was aligned with a bloc of candidates opposed to many of the reforms enacted by the current board.  
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}}{{tnr}}'''Bill Hodges''' was a candidate for the Director District E seat on the [[Douglas County School District, Colorado|Douglas County Board of Education]] in [[Colorado]]. He was defeated by incumbent [[Doug Benevento]] in the [[Douglas County School District elections (2013)|school board election]] on November 5, 2013. Hodges was aligned with a slate of candidates opposed to many of the reforms enacted by the current board.  
  
 
==Biography==
 
==Biography==
Hodges and his wife, Ginger, have two adult children who graduated from district schools and two grandchildren currently attending schools in Douglas County. He worked as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the district from 2001 to his retirement in 2011. Hodges also served as a member of the Governor's Teacher Quality Commission and worked on the Group Incentive Board.<ref>[http://hodgesfordcschools.com/about-bill/ ''Hodges for Schools,'' "About Bill," Accessed October 21, 2013]</ref>
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Hodges and his wife, Ginger, have two adult children who graduated from district schools and two grandchildren currently attending schools in Douglas County. He worked as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the district from 2001 to his retirement in 2011. Hodges also served as a member of the Governor's Teacher Quality Commission and worked on the Group Incentive Board.<ref>[http://hodgesfordcschools.com/about-bill/ ''Hodges for Schools,'' "About Bill," accessed October 21, 2013]</ref>
  
 
==Elections==
 
==Elections==
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{{Election box 2013
 
{{Election box 2013
 
|Collapse =  
 
|Collapse =  
|Chamber = Douglas County School Board of Directors, District E
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|Chamber = Douglas County School Board of Directors, Four-year term, District E
 
|party1 = Nonpartisan
 
|party1 = Nonpartisan
 
|party2 = Nonpartisan
 
|party2 = Nonpartisan
 
|winner1 = [[Doug Benevento]]
 
|winner1 = [[Doug Benevento]]
|candidate2 = [[Bill Hodges]]
+
|candidate2 = Bill Hodges
|votes1 = 49319
+
|votes1 = 52165
|votes2 = 45704
+
|votes2 = 48518
 
|Inc1 = Y
 
|Inc1 = Y
|ref = [http://www.douglas.co.us/elections/ Douglas County Elections]
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|ref = [http://www.douglas.co.us/elections/documents/2013-coordinated-election-official-results.pdf ''Douglas County Elections,'' "2013 Coordinated Election," November 21, 2013]
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
====Funding====
 
====Funding====
Hodges reported $11,444.93 in campaign contributions, $5,914.26 in expenditures and $5,530.67 in cash on hand to the Colorado Secretary of State by early October. His largest donations were $500 each from Cindy Barnard of Taxpayers for Public Education and former Superintendent Jim Christensen.<ref name=campaign>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/news/campaign-funds-tell-different-stories-in-douglas-county-school-board/article_14b2ade0-380b-11e3-a493-001a4bcf887a.html ''Our Colorado News,'' "Campaign funds tell different stories in Douglas County School Board race," October 18, 2013]</ref>
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Hodges reported $15,763.91 in contributions and $15,822.25 in expenditures to the [[Colorado Secretary of State]], which left his campaign with $58.34 in debt.<ref>[http://tracer.sos.colorado.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/CandidateDetail.aspx?Type=CA&SeqID=27418 ''Colorado TRACER,'' "Candidate and Candidate Committee Detail," accessed December 20, 2013]</ref>
  
 
====Endorsements====
 
====Endorsements====
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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 [[Colorado Term Limits Act, Amendment 17 (1994)|Amendment 17]] to the [[Article XVIII, Colorado Constitution#Section 11|Colorado Constitution]], which says that no "elected official of any...school district....shall serve more than two consecutive terms in office."
 
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 [[Colorado Term Limits Act, Amendment 17 (1994)|Amendment 17]] to the [[Article XVIII, Colorado Constitution#Section 11|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 [[Judi 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."<ref name=Boyd1>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/parker/news/candidate-field-changes-as-election-draws-closer/article_1c4b3bcc-090c-11e3-9c04-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''OurParkerNews.com,'' "Candidate field changes as election draws closer," August 22, 2013]</ref> 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|Meghann Silverthorn's]] seat in District G.  
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The District D race included newcomers [[Judi 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."<ref name=Boyd1>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/parker/news/candidate-field-changes-as-election-draws-closer/article_1c4b3bcc-090c-11e3-9c04-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''OurParkerNews.com,'' "Candidate field changes as election draws closer," August 22, 2013]</ref> Incumbent [[Doug Benevento]] faced Hodges in the District E race. [[Ronda Scholting]] filed with the Colorado Secretary of State to challenge for [[Meghann Silverthorn|Meghann Silverthorn's]] seat in District G.  
  
 
===Issues===
 
===Issues===
 
{{youtube|title=lbEmiatjEAk|size=200|caption=DougCo Parents Want Change}}
 
{{youtube|title=lbEmiatjEAk|size=200|caption=DougCo Parents Want Change}}
 
====Alleged campaign violations====
 
====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 has 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. Local journalist Jane Reuter highlighted that, "In early October, Keim requested copies of emails exchanged between the district’s cabinet-level staff, school board members, Douglas County Educational Foundation board members and the alleged supporters including Americans for Prosperity, the Independence Institute and campaign contributors Alex Cranberg and Ralph Nagel, among others."<ref name=abuses>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/highlandsranch/news/candidate-alleges-campaign-violation/article_22c14970-3c37-11e3-91f5-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''OurHighlandsRanchNews.com,'' "Candidate alleges campaign violation," October 23, 2013]</ref> Texas businessman Alex Cranberg and investment banker Ralph Nagel co-founded the Alliance for Choice in Education to promote school choice and have contributed approximately 89% of the $156,701.50 in campaign donations reported by [[Doug Benevento]], [[James Geddes]], [[Judi Reynolds]] and [[Meghann Silverthorn]].<ref name=campaign/>
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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.<ref name=abuses>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/highlandsranch/news/candidate-alleges-campaign-violation/article_22c14970-3c37-11e3-91f5-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''OurHighlandsRanchNews.com,'' "Candidate alleges campaign violation," October 23, 2013]</ref> 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]].<ref name=campaign/>  
  
 
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.<ref name=abuses/>
 
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.<ref name=abuses/>
 +
 +
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.<ref>[http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24802410/judge-douglas-county-school-district-violated-fair-campaign Zahira Torres, ''Denver Post,'' "Judge: Douglas County school district violated fair campaign laws," December 27, 2013]</ref>
  
 
====Audio editing controversy====
 
====Audio editing controversy====
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====Board reform efforts====
 
====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.<ref>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/lonetree/news/petition-decries-politics-in-school-elections/article_331c02fe-0b6a-11e3-a2f9-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''OurLoneTreeNews.com,'' "Petition decries politics in school elections," August 21, 2013]</ref> The state chapter of Americans for Prosperity ran ads in the region starting in August supporting the board's reform efforts while admonishing critics. <ref>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/lonetree/news/school-board-election-gearing-up/article_e9260f3c-ddb0-11e2-bd4a-001a4bcf887a.html/ Jane Reuter, ''OurLoneTreeNews.com,'' "School board election gearing up," July 8, 2013]</ref>
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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.<ref>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/lonetree/news/petition-decries-politics-in-school-elections/article_331c02fe-0b6a-11e3-a2f9-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''OurLoneTreeNews.com,'' "Petition decries politics in school elections," August 21, 2013]</ref> The state chapter of Americans for Prosperity ran ads in the region starting in August supporting the board's reform efforts while admonishing critics.<ref>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/lonetree/news/school-board-election-gearing-up/article_e9260f3c-ddb0-11e2-bd4a-001a4bcf887a.html/ Jane Reuter, ''OurLoneTreeNews.com,'' "School board election gearing up," July 8, 2013]</ref>
  
 
====Partisanship in board races====
 
====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.<ref>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/castlerock/news/douglas-county-gop-hosts-school-board/article_d3d69de2-6275-11e2-96c7-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''OurCastleRockNews.com,'' "Douglas County GOP hosts school board," January 19, 2013]</ref> The party endorsed incumbents [[Doug Benevento]] and [[Meghann Silverthorn]] as well as challengers [[James Geddes]] and [[Judi Reynolds]] for the 2013 campaign.<ref>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/highlandsranch/news/local-republicans-endorse-candidates/article_853928be-0908-11e3-95f0-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''Highlands Ranch News,'' "Local Republicans endorse candidates," August 19, 2013]</ref> 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.<ref>[http://yourhub.denverpost.com/douglascounty/douglas-county-teenager-run-school-board/s1YkHy64J7FcGgYYONEFiN-story Clayton Woullard, ''DenverPost.com,'' "Douglas County teen to run for school board," June 26, 2013]</ref> Former District D candidate [[Kevin Leung]] refused to interview with the Douglas County Republicans after starting his campaign. "I believe that local, non-partisan 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.<ref>[http://www.ednewscolorado.org/voices/voices-declining-a-party-endorsement-in-school-board-elections Kevin Leung, ''EdNews Voices,'' "Voices: Declining a party endorsement in school board elections," July 25, 2013]</ref>
+
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.<ref>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/castlerock/news/douglas-county-gop-hosts-school-board/article_d3d69de2-6275-11e2-96c7-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''OurCastleRockNews.com,'' "Douglas County GOP hosts school board," January 19, 2013]</ref> The party endorsed incumbents [[Doug Benevento]] and [[Meghann Silverthorn]] as well as challengers [[James Geddes]] and [[Judi Reynolds]] for the 2013 campaign.<ref>[http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/highlandsranch/news/local-republicans-endorse-candidates/article_853928be-0908-11e3-95f0-001a4bcf887a.html Jane Reuter, ''Highlands Ranch News,'' "Local Republicans endorse candidates," August 19, 2013]</ref> 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.<ref>[http://yourhub.denverpost.com/douglascounty/douglas-county-teenager-run-school-board/s1YkHy64J7FcGgYYONEFiN-story Clayton Woullard, ''DenverPost.com,'' "Douglas County teen to run for school board," June 26, 2013]</ref> 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.<ref>[http://www.ednewscolorado.org/voices/voices-declining-a-party-endorsement-in-school-board-elections Kevin Leung, ''EdNews Voices,'' "Voices: Declining a party endorsement in school board elections," July 25, 2013]</ref>
  
 
==About the district==
 
==About the district==
:: See also: [[Douglas County School District, Colorado]]
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:: ''See also: [[Douglas County School District, Colorado]]''
[[File:Map of Colorado highlighting Douglas County.svg|200px|thumb|left|link=Douglas County School District, Colorado|Douglas County School District is located in Douglas County, CO]] Douglas County School District is located in Douglas County, Colorado. Douglas County is located between the cities of Denver and Colorado Springs and the county seat is Castle Rock. According to the 2010 US Census, Douglas County is home to 285,465 residents.<ref name=Quickfact>[http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08/08035.html ''U.S. Census,'' "Douglas County Quick Facts,'' Accessed July 16, 2013]</ref>
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[[File:Map of Colorado highlighting Douglas County.svg|200px|thumb|left|link=Douglas County School District, Colorado|Douglas County School District is located in Douglas County, CO]] Douglas County School District is located in Douglas County, Colorado. Douglas County is located between the cities of Denver and Colorado Springs and the county seat is Castle Rock. According to the 2010 US Census, Douglas County is home to 285,465 residents.<ref name=Quickfact>[http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08/08035.html ''U.S. Census,'' "Douglas County Quick Facts,'' accessed July 16, 2013]</ref>
  
 
===Demographics===
 
===Demographics===
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{{col-begin|width=50%}}
 
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{{col-break}}
{| class="wikitable collapsible collapsed" style="background:none; text-align: center;"
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{| class="wikitable collapsible" style="background:none; text-align: center;"
 
! colspan="3" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" |'' Racial Demographics, 2012<ref name=Quickfact/>
 
! colspan="3" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" |'' Racial Demographics, 2012<ref name=Quickfact/>
 
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{| class="wikitable collapsible" style="background:none; text-align: center;"
 
! colspan="3" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" |'' Party Affiliation, 2013<ref>[http://sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/VoterRegNumbers/2013/June/VotersByPartyStatus.pdf Colorado Secretary of State, “Voter Registration Numbers,” Accessed July 19, 2013]</ref>
 
! colspan="3" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" |'' Party Affiliation, 2013<ref>[http://sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/VoterRegNumbers/2013/June/VotersByPartyStatus.pdf Colorado Secretary of State, “Voter Registration Numbers,” Accessed July 19, 2013]</ref>
 
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<br>
 
<br>
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{{School census}}
  
 
==Recent news==
 
==Recent news==
 
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "'''Bill + Hodges + Douglas + County + Schools'''"
 
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "'''Bill + Hodges + Douglas + County + Schools'''"
 
:''All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.''
 
:''All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.''
<rss>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&gl=us&q=Bill+Hodges+Douglas+County+Schools&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss|template=slpfeed|max=10|title=Bill Hodges News Feed</rss>
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{{RSS|feed=http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&gl=us&q=Bill+Hodges+Douglas+County+Schools&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss|template=slpfeed|max=10|title=Bill Hodges News Feed}}
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
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{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
  
{{Sb election|Month = November 5, 2013}}
 
 
{{2013DCCSB}}
 
{{2013DCCSB}}
 
{{Colorado}}
 
{{Colorado}}
  
 
[[Category:Colorado]]
 
[[Category:Colorado]]
[[Category:School board elections project]]
 
 
[[Category:2013 United States school district candidates]]
 
[[Category:2013 United States school district candidates]]
 
[[Category:Colorado school board elections, 2013]]
 
[[Category:Colorado school board elections, 2013]]

Latest revision as of 07:45, 22 April 2014

Bill Hodges
Bill Hodges.jpg
Board Member, Douglas County School District E
Former candidate
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Personal
ProfessionRetired
Websites
Campaign website
Bill Hodges campaign logo
Bill Hodges was a candidate for the Director District E seat on the Douglas County Board of Education in Colorado. He was defeated by incumbent Doug Benevento in the school board election on November 5, 2013. Hodges was aligned with a slate of candidates opposed to many of the reforms enacted by the current board.

Biography

Hodges and his wife, Ginger, have two adult children who graduated from district schools and two grandchildren currently attending schools in Douglas County. He worked as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the district from 2001 to his retirement in 2011. Hodges also served as a member of the Governor's Teacher Quality Commission and worked on the Group Incentive Board.[1]

Elections

2013

Opposition

Hodges challenged incumbent Doug Benevento for the Director District E seat on the Douglas County Board of Education.

Results

Douglas County School Board of Directors, Four-year term, District E, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Benevento Incumbent 51.8% 52,165
     Nonpartisan Bill Hodges 48.2% 48,518
Total Votes 100,683
Source: Douglas County Elections, "2013 Coordinated Election," November 21, 2013

Funding

Hodges reported $15,763.91 in contributions and $15,822.25 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left his campaign with $58.34 in debt.[2]

Endorsements

The Network for Public Education (NPE) endorsed Hodges on October 9, 2013.[3]

Campaign themes

2013

In an interview with Our Colorado News, Hodges explained his views on the district's most pressing issues:[4]

Although there are many issues facing DCSD, the most important one in my mind is allowing all voices to be heard and respected. One shouldn't be excluded because your views don't align with the current board's political agenda. I would increase public comment minutes. I would facilitate with other board members community focus groups to hear all concerns and issues. I would reinstate the district's community survey as another way to gain stakeholder input for the board to consider. In evaluating the superintendent's annual performance, a community, staff and student survey should be included as part of the evaluation process.[5]

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 Judi 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."[6] Incumbent Doug Benevento faced 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.

Issues


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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[7]

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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[12]


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.[13] The state chapter of Americans for Prosperity ran ads in the region starting in August supporting the board's reform efforts while admonishing critics.[14]

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.[15] The party endorsed incumbents Doug Benevento and Meghann Silverthorn as well as challengers James Geddes and Judi Reynolds for the 2013 campaign.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

About the district

See also: Douglas County School District, Colorado
Douglas County School District is located in Douglas County, CO
Douglas County School District is located in Douglas County, Colorado. Douglas County is located between the cities of Denver and Colorado Springs and the county seat is Castle Rock. According to the 2010 US Census, Douglas County is home to 285,465 residents.[19]

Demographics

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.[19]

Racial Demographics, 2012[19]
Race Douglas County (%) Colorado (%)
White 91.9 88.1
Black or African American 1.3 4.3
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 1.6
Asian 3.9 3.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.2
Two or More Races 2.3 2.8
Hispanic or Latino 8.0 21.0

Party Affiliation, 2013[20]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Republican 84,620 48.3
Unaffiliated 53,539 30.6
Democratic 35,545 20.3
Libertarian 1,069 0.6
American Constitution 167 0
Green 163 0


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.[21]

Recent news

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Bill Hodges News Feed

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Hodges for Schools, "About Bill," accessed October 21, 2013
  2. Colorado TRACER, "Candidate and Candidate Committee Detail," accessed December 20, 2013
  3. Network for Public Education, "NPE Endorses Bill Hodges for Douglas County School Board, CO," October 9, 2013
  4. Our Colorado News, "Q&As with candidates for Douglas County School Board," October 17, 2013
  5. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  6. Jane Reuter, OurParkerNews.com, "Candidate field changes as election draws closer," August 22, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jane Reuter, OurHighlandsRanchNews.com, "Candidate alleges campaign violation," October 23, 2013
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named campaign
  9. Zahira Torres, Denver Post, "Judge: Douglas County school district violated fair campaign laws," December 27, 2013
  10. Jane Reuter, Our Colorado News, "Radio show cut ignites candidate controversy," September 30, 2013
  11. Carlos Illescas, Denver Post, "More than 200 people rally against Douglas County school policies," September 27, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 Jane Reuter, Our Colorado News, "Variety of groups joining school fray," September 25, 2013
  13. Jane Reuter, OurLoneTreeNews.com, "Petition decries politics in school elections," August 21, 2013
  14. Jane Reuter, OurLoneTreeNews.com, "School board election gearing up," July 8, 2013
  15. Jane Reuter, OurCastleRockNews.com, "Douglas County GOP hosts school board," January 19, 2013
  16. Jane Reuter, Highlands Ranch News, "Local Republicans endorse candidates," August 19, 2013
  17. Clayton Woullard, DenverPost.com, "Douglas County teen to run for school board," June 26, 2013
  18. Kevin Leung, EdNews Voices, "Voices: Declining a party endorsement in school board elections," July 25, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 U.S. Census, "Douglas County Quick Facts, accessed July 16, 2013
  20. Colorado Secretary of State, “Voter Registration Numbers,” Accessed July 19, 2013
  21. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014