Mike Johnson (Colorado)
|Denver Board of Education, District 3|
|Years in position||2|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||November 5, 2013|
- 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
Johnson earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law School. He is currently legal counsel for the Colorado Building Excellent Schools Today program. Johnson previously also worked as a school finance expert for school districts throughout the state. He served as the co-chair of the district's Mill Levy Planning Committee and a member of the Denver School of the Arts Friends Foundation. Johnson and his wife have three daughters who attended district schools.
- See also: Denver Public Schools elections (2013)
Johnson sought election to the District 3 seat against fellow challenger Meg Schomp.
|Denver Public Schools, Four-year term, District 3, 2013|
|Source: Denver County Clerk and Recorder, "Final Official Election Results," accessed December 13, 2013|
Johnson received the following endorsements during the 2013 campaign:
- Mayor Michael Hancock
- Ed Benton
- Colorado Board of Education Member Elaine Gantz Berman
- Carol Boigon
- Denver Councilman Albus Brooks
- CU Regent Michael Carrigan
Johnson explained his reasons for running for a school board seat on his campaign website:
"I’m running for the Denver School Board because I believe every kid deserves a great education. My parents worked hard to make sure I had the opportunities they never had, and I know how important school can be in the lives of children.
I will do everything in my power to make sure every Denver student has the opportunity to obtain the best education possible – no matter where they live. I’m running as a proud dad, active DPS parent and expert in how schools work.
I believe in our school system and I want to continue to make our schools better because that’s what every Denver kid deserves. We’ve made progress, but we have a long way to go. As a school-board representative, I will fight for what makes a difference in the lives our kids.
Early childhood education and all-day kindergarten for all Denver kids – so that all kids start their educational career with the tools they need to succeed.
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 Poston, former Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien and Michael Kiley. 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|
|Rosario C. de Baca||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 Michael 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.
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.
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.
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. 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 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.
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 section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Mike + Johnson + Denver + Public + Schools + Colorado"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Mike Johnson for School Board, "About Mike," accessed October 29, 2013
- Colorado TRACER, "Candidate Detail," accessed December 20, 2013
- Mike Johnson for School Board, "We Like Mike," accessed October 29, 2013
- Mike Johnson for School Board, "Why I'm Running," accessed October 29, 2013
- EdNews Colorado, "DPS Election 2013," accessed October 29, 2013
- The Colorado Independent, "Denver school board election accusations spotlight tangled web of relationships," October 29, 2013
- Denver Post, "Denver school board candidate Kilgore calls on Taylor to resign," October 24, 2013
- Denver Post, "Tom Boasberg, Denver school leader, has a lot riding on board election results," August 30, 2013
- EdNews Colorado, "DPS board endorsements mount up," September 16, 2013
- U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Denver, accessed October 29, 2013
- Colorado Secretary of State, “Voter Registration Numbers,” Accessed October 29, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014