From critical race theory to mask mandates, school boards were front and center in last night’s elections. For months, parents have been showing up to school board meetings in droves, wondering why their kids were being indoctrinated in politics rather than instructed in math and reading.
Tuesday night, those parents spoke with their loudest voice yet: their vote. From Virginia to Colorado, parents made clear they didn’t like what schools had been doing to their kids.
In Virginia, Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin would not have pulled off his upset without the late boost of support he received from suburban parents who still believe, contrary to the desires of certain politicians, that parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s education.
The revolt against politicized education extended to El Paso County, where, according to Tuesday night’s unofficial results, conservative slates swept elections in School Districts 11, 20 and 49. As The Gazette reported, these nine candidates received the backing of an independent expenditure committee called the Springs Opportunity Fund, which educated voters about local schools’ terrible performance on standardized tests measuring proficiency in reading, writing and math.
The Opportunity Fund told voters how tests show that a mere 5% of Black students in D-11 are proficient in math. Among Hispanic students, the number is 9%. Armed with these and related facts, the voters stood up and said that it’s time for a change.
And they said so with an exclamation point. All nine candidates backed by Springs Opportunity Fund won their races. There should be no doubt that Springs-area voters are ready for a new direction in public education.
These candidates ran on going “back to the basics” as Jamilynn D’Avola, a newly elected school board director in D-49 put it. It was their focus on reading, writing and math, combined with their vocal support for parental involvement in education, that elected them to the school boards.
In other noteworthy results, Colorado Springs voters approved a $20 million TABOR retention measure to fund a citywide and regional wildfire mitigation program. The same voters rejected a 0.1% sales tax to fund trails, open space and parks.
In the midst of a nationwide and idiotic “defund the police” movement, Monument voters chose to fund the police by passing a new public safety sales tax by nearly a 2-1 margin.
For Democrats, at least one message should seem clear. Voters locally and nationwide have no appetite for institutionalized racism in schools. Parents want less politics — and more reading, math and science — in the classroom. For Republicans, the mantra should be “it’s education, stupid.”
The Gazette editorial board