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Denver’s Mayoral Candidates on the Issues: Education

While the mayor doesn’t have a lot of control over Denver Public Schools, education—especially after the recent teachers’ strike—has been at the forefront of the candidates' minds.

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Lisa Calderón: “Education has always been the avenue for, particularly, communities of color to get to the middle class when other avenues were shut out to us. And so education is highly valued. I’ve also been very disturbed watching my own children’s trajectory through the public education system of how closely aligned the city government administration has been with the school board and their privatization push of our public school system.”

Stephan “Chairman Seku” Evans: “All the mayor can really do is bully pulpit and shit. Cause they got their own budget and stuff. And if you’re on the team that manipulates the school board, you’re going to do what you want to do….I’m going to open the libraries, go to the colleges, and have those students meet with our school kids and have an out-of-classroom experience.”

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Jamie Giellis: “The mayor is a very powerful position and ultimately these are Denver’s kids and families and the welfare of the city depends on having good schools. How do we push DPS to do better?”

Michael B. Hancock: “As an experienced mayor and an experienced public servant, I’ll tell you that I think the greatest value we can bring to education is on the other side of the classroom door….My role as mayor is to be a partner to the superintendent and the board of education and the educators in those classrooms.”

Kalyn Rose Heffernan: “I would do everything that I could to work with DPS to provide better implicit bias racial trainings [and] to employ more teachers of color.”

Penfield Tate III: “I’m a product of public schools. I’ll confess my bias right now….I supported the teachers on their strike. I’ve got an aunt who’s a retired DPS teacher….I think the most important component of a child’s education [is] a quality teacher in the classroom, bar none.”

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