Stephen Boyd

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Stephen Boyd
Stephen Boyd.jpg
Board Member, Douglas County School District, District D
Former candidate
Elections and appointments
Next generalNovember 5, 2013
Term limits2 consecutive terms
Personal
ProfessionRetired educator
Stephen Boyd was a candidate for the District D seat on the Douglas County School District Board of Education up for election on November 5, 2013. He withdrew from the race on August 19, 2013.

Biography

Stephen Boyd resides in Douglas County, Colorado. Boyd spent a 33 year career in business before retiring and studying to earn a Master's degree in Education.[1] After earning his degree, he spent seven years as a teacher in Lewis-Palmer School District 38 before retiring for a second time.[1]

Elections

2013

See also: Douglas County School District elections (2013)

Opposition

Stephen Boyd ran against fellow newcomers Kevin Leung, Judi Reynolds and Julie Keim for the vacant District D seat in the general election on November 5, 2013. He withdrew from the race on August 19, 2013, due to his concern that his presence may "split the vote" and that other candidates who share his views "have a better chance of winning."[2] He did not file the petitions required to appear on the ballot.[3]

Funding

During his campaign, no campaign donations or expenditures for Stephen Boyd were reported to the Colorado Secretary of State.[4]

Endorsements

Stephen Boyd did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.

What's at stake?

Four seats, including that of the board president, are at stake. John Carson, the incumbent in District B, is not running for re-election. Barbra Chase Burke and James Geddes are running for election to the seat. Carson, who was first elected to the board in 2005, is 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 includes 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."[2] Incumbent Doug Benevento will face challenger Bill Hodges in the District E race. Ronda Scholting has filed with the Colorado Secretary of State to challenge for Meghann Silverthorn's seat in District G.

Issues


DougCo Parents Want Change

Alleged district abuses and 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."[5] 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.[6]

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.[5]

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.[7]

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.[8]

Involvement of community groups

Local groups have 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 supports the reform efforts of the current board through direct mail and door-to-door campaigning. DougCo Champions for Kids receives 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.[9]

Challengers in the 2013 race are supported by a non-profit called the Strong Schools Coalition and a political action committee (PAC) called Douglas County Parents. Strong Schools Coalition has received $4,000 in donations according to group president Lauren Mutton. The group states 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.[9]


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 have become the focus of attention in the 2013 campaign. Strong Schools Coalition has led efforts to reverse some of these reforms and eliminate political involvement in board functions.[10] The state chapter of Americans for Prosperity ran ads in the region starting in August supporting the board's reform efforts while admonishing critics.[11]

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.[12] The party has endorsed incumbents Doug Benevento and Meghann Silverthorn as well as challengers James Geddes and Judi Reynolds for the 2013 campaign.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

About the district

See also: Douglas County School District, Colorado
Douglas County School District is located in Douglas County, CO
The Douglas County School District is located in Douglas County, Colorado. Douglas County is located between the cities of Denver and Colorado Springs. According to the 2010 US Census, Douglas County Schools is home to 285,465 residents.[16] The school district includes 88 schools and served 64,657 students in the 2012-2013 school year.[17][18] The county seat is Castle Rock, named after a notable nearby butte. The district lies on the Colorado Piedmont and features woodlands and mesas.

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]


Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jane Reuter, OurHighlandsRanchNews.com, "Larkspur man seeks school board post," July 30, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jane Reuter, OurParkerNews.com, "Candidate field changes as election draws closer," August 22, 2013
  3. Jane Reuter, OurLoneTreeNews.com, "Final board candidate list set," September 6, 2013
  4. Colorado Secretary of State Elections Division, "TRACER Search," accessed September 3, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jane Reuter, OurHighlandsRanchNews.com, "Candidate alleges campaign violation," October 23, 2013
  6. Our Colorado News, "Campaign funds tell different stories in Douglas County School Board race," October 18, 2013
  7. Jane Reuter, Our Colorado News, "Radio show cut ignites candidate controversy," September 30, 2013
  8. Carlos Illescas, Denver Post, "More than 200 people rally against Douglas County school policies," September 27, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Jane Reuter, Our Colorado News, "Variety of groups joining school fray," September 25, 2013
  10. Jane Reuter, OurLoneTreeNews.com, "Petition decries politics in school elections," August 21, 2013
  11. Jane Reuter, OurLoneTreeNews.com, "School board election gearing up," July 8, 2013
  12. Jane Reuter, OurCastleRockNews.com, "Douglas County GOP hosts school board," January 19, 2013
  13. Jane Reuter, Highlands Ranch News, "Local Republicans endorse candidates," August 19, 2013
  14. Clayton Woullard, DenverPost.com, "Douglas County teen to run for school board," June 26, 2013
  15. Kevin Leung, EdNews Voices, "Voices: Declining a party endorsement in school board elections," July 25, 2013
  16. United States Census Bureau, "2010 Census Data," accessed July 15, 2013
  17. Colorado Department of Education, "School Districts/Buildings and Personnel," accessed July 16, 2013
  18. Colorado Department of Education Communications Unit, "Statewide PreK-12 student enrollment grows for 23rd straight year," January 14, 2013
  19. United States Census Bureau, "Douglas County Quick Facts," accessed July 16, 2013
  20. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Quickfact
  21. Colorado Secretary of State, “Voter Registration Numbers,” accessed July 19, 2013