Who is Douglas County Parents, and how were you formed?
We are a non-partisan group of parents and other community members of all professions and political affiliations who are concerned about the policies that the Douglas County reform-minded Board of Education and district administration have forced upon the families of our community.
Our founders are parents who noticed concerning issues in the district, and got to know one another by attending board meetings, and through mutual acquaintances. In 2013, we decided that we could do more good, and better inform the community, by joining forces and creating a website explaining the issues and endorsing the school board candidates we feel will best serve the children of Douglas County. Our subscribers and volunteers continue to grow ever since.
Do you select school board candidates?
No. We wait to see who announces their candidacy, then choose which candidate to support in each director district. Any conversations our volunteers have had encouraging others to run is done strictly on their own, as parents and community members. Only the candidates themselves can choose whether to run or not.
Why are some people saying you’re a political group?
Colorado law requires that any group of two or more people who spend $200 or more advocating for or against any candidate for office, register with the Secretary of State’s office as a “political committee” and file regular Campaign Finance Reports detailing all contributions and expenditures. We believe in transparency and abiding by all laws, so naturally, we comply.
This designation by the Secretary of State’s office does not change the fact that we are first and foremost, a parent and community group. Not only are we nonpartisan ourselves, but we place no value, good or bad, on political affiliations of the candidates as we decide which we will endorse. We believe the education of children should rise above politics and no school board member should be beholden to any political party, but should make decisions in the best interests of the children in our district.
Are you affiliated with the teacher’s union?
No, we are not affiliated with any union in any way.
Do you support charter schools?
Yes. We support all public school choices, continued 100% PPR and MLO funding of charter schools, and mindful, responsible growth of those choices.
Do you support vouchers?
No. We believe public tax dollars should remain in public schools, and should not be diverted to private schools that are not required to accept every child.
Where does your funding come from? Do you accept money from outside interests?
We are a grassroots effort, and all our funding comes from individual donors, either within or connected to our community. We do not accept money from outside interests.
What do you do with the donations you receive?
Donations are used to support candidates who support our public schools, in a variety of ways, including yard signs, T-shirts, and other printed materials. We are all volunteers, and no monies are paid for salaries or wages.
What larger organizations are you affiliated with, or get campaign advice from?
None. We’ve been told that “just parents” couldn’t possibly do what we do as well as we have, but many of our parents have also had careers that provided helpful experience, and we learned quickly, by the seat of our pants. We are completely run by unpaid volunteers, and rely only on each other for ideas.