Teacher Unions and Charter School Activists Spend on Aurora Region School Board Groceries

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DAWN | Groups backed by teachers’ unions and charter schools made the largest contributions to Aurora and Cherry Creek school board races, according to campaign fundraising records.

In Aurora Public Schools, the Students Deserve Better organization spent more than $ 16,000 on mailings to support applicants Debbie Gerkin, Tramaine Duncan and Michael Carter, the three applicants supported by the Aurora Education Association. He spent an equal amount on mailings between Christy Cummings and Danielle Tomwing.

Students Deserve Better is funded by Teacher Groups and received $ 20,000 from the Aurora Education Association, $ 7,000 from the Aurora Council for Teachers and Students and $ 257,000 from the Colorado Fund for Children and Public Education.

Raising Colorado spent over $ 25,000 each on mailings to support Anne Keke and Tomwing. Conservative education reform group Ready Colorado spent $ 900 to support Cummings, Tomwing and Keke.

Raising Colorado is funded by a group of state and national charter school advocates and other education reform groups: the League of Colorado Charter Schools, Education Reform Now, Parents for Great Schools, and Ten Collective Impact. Tomwing also received $ 5,000 directly from the Colorado League of Charter Schools.

In Cherry Creek, Students Deserve Better spent $ 9,900 on mailings for Kristin Allan and Kelly Bates and an equal amount on mailings against Jennifer Gibbons and Bill Leach. Allan and Bates are the two candidates supported by the Cherry Creek Education Association. Gibbons and Leach come forward as a list and have criticized the degree of involvement of the teachers’ union in the district.

Individual campaign contributions have also skyrocketed in an electoral cycle that has drawn unprecedented attention to school board racing. In Cherry Creek, Bates has received $ 63,000 in campaign contributions to date and Allan $ 50,000. Leach received $ 16,000 and Gibbons $ 11,000, while contestant Jason Lester received $ 7,000 and Schumé Navarro for only $ 2,000.

Keke owns Aurora’s largest war chest, with just under $ 25,000 in contributions on Friday. Tomwing has $ 15,000, Duncan $ 6,000, Gerkin $ 5,000, Carter $ 4,700 and Cummings $ 680.

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