Denver Public Schools District 5 Forum – Denver Decides 2019 November Coordinated Election

hello I’m Russell Hawthorne with Denver
7 and welcome to Denver decides Denver decides as a Community Partnership
dedicated to accessible and transparent elections the partnership includes the
League of Women Voters of Denver and the internet’ Burr hood cooperation and is
presented by Denver eight TV today we are presenting a candidate forum in
anticipation of the November 5th election this election includes the
candidates vying for district 5 as a member of the Denver Public Schools
Board of Directors district 5 is located in the northwest part of our city our
format is a standard one the candidates will be asked questions that are
submitted ahead of time by the organizers of this forum all of the
candidates will answer all of the questions and all of your responses will
be timed our timers are out front where candidates can easily see them so let’s
begin by meeting the candidates vying to represent Northwest Denver’s district 5
the candidates are standing right to left facing the audience in alphabetical
order by their last names so beginning to my right is Julie Banuelos and next
to her is tawny courseö and to his right is Brad Larvik audience please welcome
our candidates candidates welcome and let’s jump right
in with the first question our first question will be for Julie
because your name your last name starts with a B lucky you
yep Julie you’ll have one minute to answer this question and then we’ll go
down the line here’s the here’s the first question some parents and others
have said that moving strive out of North High School would allow north to
grow as a traditional high school where do you stand on this issue you have one
minute that’s a great question my name is Julie Banuelos I am a former
teacher I taught 11 years in district 11 or district 5 sorry so with that I’m
gonna tell you that I fully support the idea of North reclaiming its space they
need it for not only the pride that they have on the north side the legacy the
alumni that’s very strong also it’s we’ve had enough of kids getting ticket
ticketed for crossing the line into that other school plus there’s a competition
for resources and we know North students North needs that space so we need to
give that space back to that school alone thank you
Thank You Julie Tony I think it’s really important to remember that we’re talking
about kids and families I’ve talked with principal Scott wolf and he told me that
he has a space they need right now if at some point in the future there’s not the
space to be able to co-locate both programs then absolutely we need to look
at alternatives to support both programs but I think we’re too quick to dismiss
the families and students who are an important part of our community and make
sure that we’re committed to them as well as the kids that are already in
North High School my daughter goes to North I want to support North High
School but I want to make sure that we’re committed to all families in
Northwest Denver thank you Tony Brad
thank you so much I have spent time in North at the CSC meetings at some of the
collocation meetings and what I hear is a group of community members who don’t
feel listened to conversations weren’t had enough before decisions were made
and I tell you people are tired of being talked at people want to be talked with
and so any decisions we make have to come from that place I know that some
rooms have been added to what North has they knock down some walls and
reconfigure things and added more space and they have plans to do so in the
upcoming year as well and that’s based on listening to the community and I want
to make sure that North gets the support it needs it’s thriving
it’s students are doing new things and we see growth happening and that is
amazing my daughter will be class of twenty thirty four at North and I want
to make sure it has all the resources it needs to thrive when she’s there Thank
You Brad and thank you all for your responses to that first question second
question and Tony will begin with you what one thing by the way you have 30
seconds for your response to this question what one thing about your
professional or personal background makes you most qualified to be on the
Board of Education Tony my experience in the community I’ve been committed to
schools in North Denver for 18 years I’ve been active in multiple
organizations I’m involved in the public side making sure that I’m supporting our
schools on the private side making sure that I’m an important part of my
community contributing his as as an organization and making sure that we’re
volunteering across the organization I’m involved in two boards I understand the
public the private and the nonprofit aspect of what it takes to make a
community great and I’ll continue to submit and support those goals Tony
thank you Brad you know the neat thing about my professional work is it is
public work I spend each and every day serving in the community on behalf of a
group of people that seek to build a home we’re all belong I spend my time
community organizing listening to community concerns the community has
trusted me and the group that I work with the congregation where I serve as a
pastor regularly anytime there is a need in the community and that’s what I look
forward to doing as we continue to care for the people of North Denver by
listening and work together to overcome anything we need
Thank You Brad Julie thank you so the experience that I bring is that I I
taught almost two decades in DPS and like I mentioned to you before eleven of
those years I spent teaching as a dual language Spanish component teacher at
the academia Anna Marie Sandoval and then I worked for years at Centennial I
know very well what that community looks like on top of that I have the most
shared experience with our demographics in DPS with that we need that lens
because for far too long we’ve been talked about what we need and it’s time
for us to decide what we need thank you all for your responses on to question
three and Brad it will be it will be your turn to answer first it has been
reported that per pupil allocation from the 2016 bond through mid-year is 2,800
for each neighborhood school student and 4900 for each charter school student
what is your perspective on how this disproportion impacts equity for DPS
students Brad every single DPS student needs the resources they deserve so they
can thrive what neighborhood you live in your ability to choose a different
school shouldn’t affect the resources available to you
I believe equity is demonstrated when students get what they need and we have
schools who have not been getting adequate funding to tend to their
populations of students and that is critical and it breaks my heart to see
that a certain group of schools might get more than other schools when we
realize all of Denver’s students are our students and they all deserve to be
cared for Thank You Brad Julie yes thanks so you know I ran in 2017 and I
was one of the very few people that mentioned how the inequity of the
portfolio model the charter schools how they’ve been robbing our traditional
schools our neighborhood schools of funding this is one of the issues that
DPS has when it comes to the inequity we have
people that have a few that have a lot and many that don’t have anything DPS
has swindled a lot of money back in 2008 when it came to the interest swaps they
lost hundreds of millions of dollars and we need to find out where that went
Thank You Julie and Brad Tony Tony sorry so you know it’s a shame I was on
the bond I’m small I’m still on the bond Oversight Committee for Denver Public
Schools for the 2016 bond and we worked really hard on that and that was a
community process community members were invited to that process and it’s a
mischaracterization to show that to portray that as though there’s an
inequity there what we’re trying to do was we’re trying to build schools for
all kids a lot of those newer schools went to Northwest Denver we had some
great improvements to our schools across the district and we need to make sure
that we continue that but it’s not about inequity it’s about serving kids
thank you Tony and thank you all for your responses on to our next question
for the candidates vying for school board for district 5 and we’ll start
again with Julie as our rotation indicates Julie what is your solution to
Denver’s late summer hot classrooms issue great very appropriate so that
question has come up recently because we’ve had a very hot summer and 60 of
DPS schools do not have adequate air-conditioning or upgraded HVAC
systems apparently it’s going to take 200,000 per school to get that fixed so
until DPS does something we need to talk to our communities at those schools to
find out if starting after Labor Day is appropriate for them hmm Julie thank you
Tony so actually the number is closer to
three million dollars per school we have after next summer we’ll have 57 schools
left that have to be our condition I was looking at the data today September was
the hottest September on record we’ve had four out of the hottest in the last
decade if I’m elected board member I will commit to making sure that we
passed the 2020 bond we get the last 57 schools air-conditioned so that we can
make sure that our students and our teachers have a great learning
environment so they can be more effective in their classroom thank you
Tony and Brett you know I spent time with students who were saying that their
rooms were too hot to learn and they were right and so we need to take
different steps I want to continue moving forward to make sure that every
single school gets that air conditioning it might need we recognize the world’s
only getting hotter the pieces we need to recognize are we need a phase
deployment of things there’s some very common-sense solutions we can use fans
and windows and heat exchange systems that don’t cost as much money but tend
immediately and it’s right a later start date needs to be talked about in
individual communities to see if that does fit and work for them the
difference between the last two weeks and the first two weeks if we shift the
calendar Thank You Brad and thank you all our Julie Julie did you had a chance
to answer that that’s right so moving on this question is for all of you raise
your hand if you have accepted an endorsement or a contribution from any
sitting DPS board member Tony since you raised your hand this question is for
you on what issues if any does your perspective differ from that board
member you know what what I love about our current board I think that we have a
great board they’re highly dedicated and committed individuals and I would say
what we are the people that are supporting me
we are alignment and our values for providing great education for all
students the nuances of how we do that are less worrisome for me than it is
about our commitment to be serving the community and serving our kids thank you
on to our next question and Tony were staying with you
what do you believe to be the role of the school board and each of you will
have 30 seconds to answer this question it’s about governance I think that the
perception that somehow this is a facilitation role undermines the role of
Denver Public Schools were thought partners with the superintendent we’re a
governance model it’s our job to develop the policies that set the path forward
for making sure that we have a great education for all kids this is a 1.2
billion dollar organization this is not about the little problems this is making
sure that we have the capacity and the rigor to be able to jump in and figure
things out for all kids in Denver Public Schools thank you Tony
Brad the school board’s role is to represent the students and the community
that elect us as we shape and guide the district together we have people who are
serving the superintendent the central staff principals teachers who look to
the board for where the money is going what the values are what the vision is
and how we are going to work together and that has to be shaped by policy
that’s guided by the question how does this care for our students every single
student Thank You Brad Julie the role of a DPS board member is to not only create
policy but I actually take the lens that applies most to the majority of students
that attend DPS additionally board members need to be need to be active in
fiduciary responsibilities responsibilities and in addition to that
we need to be very transparent and we need to be beholden to our constituents
not to special interest groups Thank You Julie and thank you all for your
responses onto the next question and I believe Brad yes sir you will
answer first Denver’s achievement gap for students of
color is reportedly one of the highest in the nation as a board member what
will you do to close that gap it is one of the highest in the country and it
affects so many of our students we have to be very proactive we have to pay
attention to getting resources to classrooms
you’ve already heard about some of the disparities between different schools
getting different numbers at the end of the day only 48 percent of the money DPS
takes in is going to our classrooms and every solution that helps us address
inequity takes the funding that isn’t in the classrooms currently we need to
recruit and retain more teachers of color we need culturally responsive
curriculum to continue to grow and engage every single one of our students
these are all opportunities we have to make sure we are engaging and caring for
every single student across Denver Thank You Brad Julie the achievement gap has
widened in the last 20 years of reform has only continued to make that exist
along with creating more segregation what dps needs to do to address the
achievement gap is we need to hire and retain teachers of color research shows
that if students have teachers that look like them that are experienced that know
how to engage them they will make strides I also believe that we need to
stop testing as much as we do decreasing that testing that we’re requiring Thank
You Julie Tony we have to commit to all students in DPS if we want to close the
achievement gap we have to have teachers of color our teachers need to reflect
the diversity of our community the Revere the diversity of our students we
need to make sure that we have culturally relevant curriculum for all
of our schools we need to make sure that we have anti bias training for all of
everybody who touches a student and we also need to commit as a group to making
sure that we’re getting the bonus to the hard to fill positions so that we can
attract and retain the teachers so that we’re providing the greatest opportunity
for all of our students thank you all for your responses and now it’s time for
our lightning round in this round we’ll ask you a short question and here’s how
you will answer if your answer is yes to a question show a thumbs-up if your
answer is no to a question thumbs down you don’t have to say anything in this
round you simply answer by a thumbs up or a thumbs down so here we go and these
questions are for all of you many studies have shown that teenagers need
more sleep would you support a later start time
for middle and high school students in DPS thank you would smaller class sizes
that could create a more connected teacher-student relationship result in
better mental health outcomes for kids thank you should charters and innovation
schools both of which receive public dollars have the same teacher license
requirements as traditional schools thank you instead of asking taxpayers
for an extra 200 million for air conditioning as part of the next bond
would you publicly advocate for a school start date after Labor Day thank you
in order to ensure a reliable recruiting pipeline of teachers of color would you
advocate for a quote GI bill type financial support program for dps
paraprofessionals and for students currently enrolled in Colorado colleges
thank you do you think Denver school board members should be compensated trick question a trick question thank
you would you advocate for the sale of the property at 1860 Lincoln and the
subsequent relocation of the DPS central administration offices to less expensive
real estate a few teachers have stated that the
majority of staff psychologists and nurses are split between multiple
schools do you support this dps policy and finally do you agree with placing an
upper limit on hard money campaign contributions for future school board
races thank you all very much and we’ll continue with questioning much like we
we did in the first round you’ll have 30 seconds to answer each of these
questions and I believe we’re back to Julie to start what is the single
biggest difference between yourself and each of the other two candidates in this
race and you have 30 seconds like I said I was a teacher in DPS
I am I am a member of the Latin X community which is about 68% of DPS
demographics I also believe that with my experience my background in economics I
do sit on a board with the Human Services of Colorado I know what it is
to run a non-profit I also engaged in running a transitional program for
homeless mothers so I bring a very well-rounded lens Thank You Julie Tony
two things the first is my experience advocating for families across Denver
I’ve been doing this for 18 years whether it’s at the CSC or whether it’s
the bond Oversight Committee in addition to that I’m a businessman so I
understand what it takes to run a business I understand what it takes to
look at it we’re talking about a 1.2 billion dollar organization I work for
an organization I understand the complexities into the finance if we want
to hold ourselves accountable if we want to hold DPS accountable we need somebody
who truly has the expertise to be able to understand what governance looks like
at DPS thank you Tony bread well I do serve and work every single day with the
people of North Denver and run not only a local nonprofit
but have been active at national and international levels with hundreds of
millions of dollars as well but the biggest piece for me is that I’m
endorsed by Denver’s teachers the idea that I could sit with and be in
conversation with our educators share with them my values in my vision and
have them say you’re the candidate we want to see caring for it for me too the
best thing we can do to care for education is to listen to our educators
Thank You Brad and thank you all next question and Tony your turn to go first
based on publicly available reports through dark money out-of-state
organizations have spent nearly nine hundred thousand dollars for the benefit
of some dps board members what is your perspective on the fact that this is
happening in our local elections so I don’t know about that I guess what I
would say is that I’m not here to debate the Supreme Court decision what I think
that we need to do is really focus on how we’re delivering to our kids I would
love to see a reduction in all money that are coming into the campaigns we’re
not increasing the quality of the discussion but what I want to do is I
want to make sure that we’re discussing kids delivering high quality outcomes
and closing the achievement gap that’s supporting our families and teachers
thank you Tony Brett you know when I see that much money come into a race like
this the question that comes to my mind is what do they expect to get back and
so I greatly worry about what people might be getting back for the money they
believe they’re investing the money that’s coming into my campaign is from
my neighbors and teachers and other workers throughout Denver those are the
people who they know that this is about their community and that’s why the
outside money really raises an eyebrow for me Thank You Brad Julie the amount
of outside money that’s coming here to Colorado says a lot about the power
there is in sitting on a board seat it also tells us a little bit about the
values of those folks and the values they want to implement in DPS for me I’m
not taking any outside money like that I believe in
making sure that this is a democratic situation where I actually represent the
community and not outside interests so for me I’ve been doing this grassroots
thank you all very much for your responses Brad just because you’re
furthest away from me it doesn’t mean you don’t get to go first it’s your turn
did with district fives diversity in mind how will you vote in the best
interests of all constituents in cases where there might be conflicting
viewpoints or agendas for me it always starts with listening to the community
and being present and knowing that there’s accountability for me
relationships with groups like poverty hoping as you need us as Action Fund
that where I’ll be going to listen and be in conversation not just as someone
who’s endorsing me to get elected but who wants to be a partner in the work
throughout the process of leading those are places in ways that I get to hear
from communities whose voices need to be raised and there’s always a sense of
accountability and sitting down to say when there are conflicting interests if
I didn’t choose a or B let me explain to you why and I’m always willing to have
those hard conversations Thank You Brad Julie you know for so long we as a
community as a community of black indigenous people of color
we have been told what’s right for us we have been given a shove models down our
throat marketed these beautiful pages which attract us to these schools that
make up the choice model for me when we serve the most marginalized the biggest
population in DPS we’re gonna win Thank You Julie and Tony again I’ve been doing
this for 18 years we had hundreds of people come in front of us when we were
on the Planning Committee for the 2016 bond we’ve had dozens and dozens of
family and community members come to us as part of the Oversight Committee there
were hundreds of people involved in the revitalization effort over brown
Elementary where we work where we were to that program I understand it is with
extensive work in this community that there are different expectations in
different outcomes but I know that we can work through those solutions
together as long as the outcome of the child is front and center for
everybody’s goals thank you all let’s continue with our questioning of
the candidates for district 5 and Julie back to you to start it has been
reported widely reported that the DPS board majority has been dominated by the
reform movement for the past several years to what extent are you aligned
with this current board you know I respect our current board members
however we differ in values I am somebody who brings not only almost two
decades of teaching experience I taught in Spanish I taught in title one schools
I was a Montessori teacher I truly believe in the human potential and for
me that’s where I evoke the values that I am going to bring to the board I don’t
believe right now except for dr. Carrie Olson that the rest are teachers and
they wouldn’t have that lens Thank You Julie Tony I have a saying in a world of
black and white it’s my job to create grey from my perspective it’s always a
lot more complicated than anybody thinks I’m not in one camp or another I’m in
the camp of kids what I want to be able to make sure is that everybody
understands what the complexities of the issues are and making sure that we drive
back to outcomes of kids and that we’re supporting the children in every single
way possible while we’re collaboratively with the board for outcomes to support
families and children thank you Tony and Brad I do respect the
work our board strives for every single day I do not align with the values that
are labeled as reform as you named sort of being reported in fact listening to
our community long for change and long for something different is one of the
reasons I chose to run it’s one of the reasons I supported the teachers during
the strike these are values that are driving me in this work and and that’s
why I’m not receiving money from those reformers Thank You Brad and thank you
all that brings us to our final submitted question from the forum and
Tony we’ll start with you at some schools PTA leadership fund raises
hundreds of thousands of dollars for things like filtered water fountains and
art teachers many other schools have little to no fundraising at all how
would you address this inequity in DPS I want you to know that first and foremost
I’m running on the value of equity I need to support the outcomes for all
kids and we know that when schools were able to raise a third of a million
dollars in funding levels of programming and educational experiences that aren’t
standard across the district we are propagating the inequity across
our district we have to do more we’re gonna start with the equity index we’re
going to continue on with the equity assessment we’re going to make sure that
we’re serving families and kids equity is wine running we have to support all
kids in DPS thank you Tony Brett there is no reason DPS should not be funding
every basic need a child has in school we can do that we have to get more
resources into the classroom more than 50% of the money’s not making it to our
children and it needs to be there parents will always fundraise but it
should be for things that aren’t necessary it shouldn’t be for clean
water it shouldn’t be for a music teacher it should be every student needs
those key pieces because our students are worth it and our budget should
reflect that Thank You Brad Julie this is a great question I worked in schools
that had didn’t have a PTA I did work at another school that raised a whole bunch
of money 250,000 they paid for our paraprofessionals the thing with equity
that I think my opponents don’t understand is if our kids are 10 steps
behind a regular chore Mille average student or someone who has money we need
to give them 10 steps ahead to catch up and that means it applies to funding as
well and DPS needs to really put that as a priority instead of saying just catch
up when you can thank you all very much very thoughtful responses now
we have a special guest from the audience her name is alia Quinby I hope
I got that right alia is with the Denver mayor’s Youth
Commission Aliya you’re welcome to come to the podium and ask your question and
audience a round of applause for thank you so this is a repeat question but I
feel like it’s such an important topic that we should give our candidates more
opportunity to expand the question is DPS has one of the worst achievement
gaps between white and minority students in the country how do you plan on
lowering this gap all right well thanks for that question so this is wonderful
it came up earlier so the thing is we have failed our children okay in the
classroom by not following mandated interventions by not giving our special
education students everything that’s required on the 504 s the IEP s we have
failed our English learners by not following the consent decree and we need
to make sure that we have teachers that are experienced that know how to connect
that our master teachers and know how to connect with kids well I’ll agree a lot
with that however we have been following a consent decree and I think that some
of our biggest successes and in Denver especially North Denver have been some
of our dual language programs or we’ve gone so much further and delivery but we
have a lot more that we can do I think that I applaud the efforts of the school
board and the superintendent and understanding the complexity of the
equity issue and making sure that we’re going in there and making intentional
two choices when I was on the bond Oversight Committee I realized that we
could do a lot to improve the facilities but we need to do a lot more in
providing the high quality education consistent leadership for all of our
students in addition to some of the things I named earlier we also have to
have the hard conversations about privilege and race we have to do the
deep work ourselves as leaders we have to start more conversations at the board
level at the central office with our teachers
deceased classroom volunteers engaging in bias awareness training as we all
begin to look at how our system continues to perpetuate inequity in
addition to the specific ideas of more teachers of color with culturally
responsive curriculum and better funding so students get what they need to thrive and now we’ll continue with our forum
for district 5 and this is the round where the candidates can ask questions
of one another each of you will select one of your
opponents and ask them a question and hopefully they’ll have an answer for you
we will go in alphabetical order so Julie you get to begin you can ask one
question of one of your opponents and each of you if you’re selected has 30
seconds to respond Julie I wrote my question down perfect because I want to
make sure I get all the details so I’ve chose my this question is directed to
Brad those who know their history of DPS know that district 5 was created with
the other districts after communities of color fought for it believing this would
lead to greater representation of our communities who continue to be
underserved and overly disciplined in DPS coming from the Latin X community we
are constantly told by people who don’t come from our community to trust them
and that they’ll fight for us yet we continue to see an achievement gap and
different experiences that don’t reflect the district’s values and don’t respect
us given that how do you think you can represent or even understand my
community given that 68% of the district is Latin X despite the fact that we are
barely represented in the teacher population administrative roles and of
course as board members Julie thank you for your excellent question Bret Julie
that’s a question that I take very seriously and actually it’s one of the
questions that I pondered over and over and
over the first five or six times I said no when the community asked me to run
for school board it actually took about eight times before I was willing to
begin the investigation and I sat down with some of our elected officials i sat
down with senator Lucia Guzman i sat down with Senator Julia Gonzales and
representative Serena Gonzales Gutierrez and I asked some of these very same
questions and I recognize that it’s going to take a lot on my part it’s
going to take regular conversation it’s gonna take partnerships with groups like
Padres dijo venus to continue that work Brad thank you and now Tony continuing
down the line your turn to ask a question of one of your opponents and
they’ll have 30 seconds to respond on is’s for Julie
the most recent contract negotiations with the Denver classroom teachers
Association resulted in revised bonus structure where teachers at
under-resourced schools are really only paid roughly a thousand dollars more
than teachers at distinguished schools do you support increase in the bonus for
under-resourced schools or decrease in the bonus of blue schools and how would
that work into procom great you know I don’t believe in the bonuses those are
like carrots for our teachers what we need to do is we need to pay them a
livable wage I benefited from being in a green school I got 4,000 dollars a year
but you know what you couldn’t count on that and the cost of living in Denver is
so high that our teachers need two to three jobs to make a living we need to
give them a livable wage that’s equal to the cost of living and what it costs to
rent a single apartment in Denver thank you both very much Brad your turn you
can ask one of your opponents one question and they’ll have 30 seconds to
respond thank you my question my first question
is for tony tony is i’m out listening to the community and engaging in
conversation I’m having a lot of conversations with folks who are seeing
the achievement gap who are seeing the increased segregation who are seeing our
incredible teacher turnover and I’m hearing that there’s this understanding
that this is the result of a decade worth of failed DPS policies and I want
to know how you’re not a continuation of those same failed policies so I would say that our achievement gap
has are really been a complex issue I would say that as Denver continues to
thrive as a community what we’ve seen is we’ve seen the displacement of some of
our poorest kids as we see the gentrification we see children driven
out of our schools when my child my oldest child went over to DSS Tia Cole
she saw friends being forced out of the neighborhood they were unable to attend
their schools anymore we seriously have a problem as a community that we need to
come as a community to address and it’s not getting easier but it’s a community
opportunity so we like where this is going so we’re gonna continue with this
one-on-one round and Tony it’s your turn you can ask another question of one of
your opponents and they’ll have another 30 seconds to respond soon for Brad so
Rocky Mountain Prep a neighborhood charter school is located less than half
a mile from your home our district 5 is also home to gals strive you prep in the
boys schools all these were born here in Denver and were mostly started by former
Denver teachers the corner your website regarding charter schools and choice you
imply that through reauthorization charter schools are not held to the same
standards as district run schools and that they are perhaps serving outside
interests if you believe this how can you effectively represent the parents
and students of our charter schools Brad I appreciate the question Tony I believe
that our charter schools want to be held to the same standards as every other
school I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking for high
accountability and I think representing the idea that if the bar shouldn’t be
lowered for anyone does care for every single parent across our district
because if they’re loving their school and their child is doing well then
they’re meeting the accountability we’re asking for so I think and asking for
equity and how we how we review and how we authorize does care for every single
family thank you both and Brad again to you you have the opportunity to ask one
of your opponents another question your opponent will have 30 seconds to respond
yeah well since we’re reading websites Tony well I took a look at yours too and
one of the things that the first thing you see on your website is that you
stand for great schools and every neighborhood and I’m wondering how you
can make that statement while taking money and support from people and
organizations that have undermined our neighborhood schools for more than a
decade that’s a that’s a I don’t know about that I guess I would say that the
people who supported me consistently are people who were from Colorado last I
checked in the Denver Post reporting you were actually getting more out-of-state
money than I was this is money from Denver people supporting Denver schools
making sure that we’re driving the outcomes then we’re holding ourselves
accountable their belief is in me and our ability to serve kids at a much
higher level than we expect we can now we know we can do better we have to
deliver on that I’m not beholding to anybody except for
our Denver kids thank you both very much Julie your opportunity to ask another
question of one of your opponents okay and this question has come up since I’ve
been listening to – Toni so Toni this question is to you Toni you say that we
have DPS specifically has not failed our English learners you say that they have
followed the consent decree I want you to tell me how do you know that because
in our district there are schools that are Tinley that are not following the
consent decree and you can tell me what Tinley means while you’re at it so what
I would say is that I’m not saying that we haven’t failed our kids we know we
have and we’re talking about achievement gaps that are that are 45% when an our
3rd through 8th graders or less than then 50% at literacy and that’s on
average I know that we have to do more I think that the compliance versus what
the intent is we have to do more we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard
we can do more with Denver Public Schools and we have to focus on equity
and closing the achievement gap for all kids
we appreciate the lively debate from all of you and now that brings us to the end
of our QA segments for the evening and now we go to our closing statements each
candidate will have one minute for a closing statement and we will go in
reverse alphabetical order which means we begin with Brad Larvik and Brad you
have one minute to make a closing statement so my name is Brad Larvik I’m
a dps parent I’m a classroom volunteer I’m endorsed by Denver’s teachers and
I’m running for Denver Public School Board in district 5 so that we can make
sure every student thrives resources get to classrooms that we have transparency
in the budget and that we see great teachers retained as well as recruited I
invite folks to visit my website identified
with schools for district 5 and I’m pretty sure that all the candidates here
tonight are running for the same reason that we want to have great schools for
all kids but I believe that I’m uniquely qualified for one big reason and that’s
my ongoing commitment and extensive experience advocating for students and
families in Denver Public Schools I’ve continued to do that for the last
18 years my parents were both teachers my sister’s a teacher I know what it
looks like to see teachers struggle I want to make sure that we’re supporting
our families supporting our teachers in a way that we’re driving the outcomes
that we’re delivering on the promise based on our existing hard work of what
we expect to achieve in Denver Public Schools my experience matters and I’m
here to continue to serve all kids in Denver
schools I’m Tony Corel running for DPS Board of Education you check out my
website at Tony curtsy Oh for Denver kids calm thank you
Tony thank you and now Julie your closing argument you’ll have one minute
Thanks so my name is Julie Banuelos I’m running for district 5
I’m the only licensed teacher running in this cycle as you know I spent almost
two decades in DPS classrooms 11 in district 5 I am running because the
majority of DPS teachers can’t afford to live where they teach many have two to
three jobs to survive worst we can’t seem to recruit hire and retain teachers
of color I am running because the achievement gap persists we need abort
board members that will ensure that mandate and instruction is followed
especially for our students receiving interventions I am running because 62
percent of our property taxes go to DPS but somehow we can’t even get a
transparent budget to tell us why only 43 percent of that money goes interrupts
ly into classrooms I am running to re-envision and reimagine what safety
means for our students we need personnel we need nurses full-time nurses we need
full-time social workers we need to replace our sorrows with counselors my
name is Julie Ben Willis very good Julie Tony Brad thank you very much we
appreciate you and your appreciation for our children and now audience it’s your
turn a big round of applause for our candidates for district 5 our thanks also to Denver decides and
its partners which include the internet’ burr hood cooperation and the League of
Women Voters of Denver Denver decides is presented by Denver eight TV we hope we
have given you a fair look at each of these candidates who want to represent
Northwest Denver’s district five on the DPS board of directors and for a
complete election guide go online to Denver decides comm I’m Russell
Hawthorne with Denver 7 and thank you for joining us

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