Delivering For Denver

Since being elected to the Denver School Board, I have been hard at work to ensure we delivered on the promises we made to Denver voters four years ago. 

 

Khalil will be a first grader in Denver Public Schools by the time I complete my second term on the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. In Denver, right now, 26% of Black students who took the CMAS were on grade level for reading. 2 out of 10. Right now, my son is MORE  likely to end 8th grade in this district, being behind in reading and math, than he is to be on grade level. Our city deserves better. Our city deserves unrelenting leadership who is willing to take on the status quo and demand MORE from our schools. I am ready for that challenge. I am ready to challenge the status quo and demand the improvements our students deserve. The future of our city depends on it. 


We cannot; we will not allow our students to fall through the cracks any longer. Our kids deserve a life filled with opportunities- which is only possible if they have access to a high-quality education from Pre-K all the way through 12th grade.  

School Safety & Mental Health

Within one week, I led the Denver School Board to end the over-policing of our schools and expanded access to school nurses, mental health supports, and restorative practices. In addition, in partnership with Moms Demand Action, we passed Colorado’s first gun-safe storage resolution to ensure our families were properly educated on storing firearms and reducing gun violence in our communities.

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When re-elected, I will continue focusing on increasing funding for student well-being: 

  • Partner with nonprofits to offer our students no-cost mental health services.

  • Identify community organizations that can provide mentorship opportunities to students to increase student mental health services.

  • Continue to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline by expanding alternative solutions to decrease suspension and expulsions in Denver Public Schools and implementing a yearly audit of our discipline practices.

Equity

Students wanted protections for LGBTQIA+ youth in our schools. They got them: 

  • Mandated that every Denver Public School has at least one All-gender restroom. 

  • Allowed students to self-identify their gender without parental consent.

  • While members of the United States Congress attack young people for identifying as trans and non-binary, I led our district in adding protections for all students, and we will no longer tolerate discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in sports or extracurricular activities.

Social Justice: 

  • Ensured all schools provided menstrual products to students at no cost.

  • Endorsed a measure to allow students to vote in our school board elections.

  • We expanded our comprehensive health education curriculum to include: mental, physical, social, emotional, and sexual well-being.

  • Our schools were attacked by extremists seeking to abolish any curriculum in support of Black Excellence or Black Lives Matter; these individuals harassed our educators and breached our schools. Because of this, I led the charge to ensure our unwavering commitment to Black Excellence and Black Lives Matter was etched into district policy to protect our educators and school communities. 

 

COVID Response:  

  • Helped ensure the Denver Public Schools passed out over 5.1 million meals to Denverites 

  • Guaranteed that our students had access to Chromebooks and hotspots as they shifted to remote learning.

  • Advocated for a safe return to schools once the public health experts said we were okay to return. 

When re-elected, I will continue to ensure that curriculum and educational opportunities are constantly evolving to adapt to the diverse culture of Denver Public Schools. 

  • Implementing an annual audit of all curriculum to ensure it meets the boards' current Equity and Teaching and Learning ENDS statements. 

  • Establishing multi-cultural excellence plans to ensure the academic needs of students are met with a focus on racial equity.

  • Ensuring all curriculum is inclusive of the LGBTQIA + community. 

Educators

As a former educator in Denver Public Schools, I remember earning $12.00 an hour and working multiple jobs to keep the lights on. I made a commitment that if elected, we would raise the minimum wage to $20.00 an hour to ensure our educators knew we valued their endless commitment to our students in the Denver Public Schools. In August of 2022, our district and labor unions reached an agreement to raise the minimum wage to $20.00 an hour. In November of 2022, I led the charge to codify a $20.oo an hour minimum wage into district policy.

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When re-elected I will continue this work by ensuring Denver Public Schools remains in the top three in the state for educator compensation.  

  • Fighting to raise the minimum wage in Denver Public Schools by 2026.

  • Working with local labor unions to increase salaries that can keep up with inflation and the cost of living in Denver. 

  • Partnering with charter schools to increase compensation for their educators. 

  • Ensuring Denver Public Schools partners with local labor unions and minority-owned contractors.

Neighborhood Schools

The students of West High School began these conversations with their communities and brought this to the Board of Education as a part of their Student Voice and Leadership 5280 Challenge. The Board of Education unanimously passed the resolution to reunify West High School. At the same time, these conversations were taking place in the Montbello community and being spearheaded by community leaders like Brandon and Samatha Pryor, Gabe and Tony Lindsay, and Vernon Jones, organizations like Montbello Organizing Committee, and Montbello Alumni like MiDian Holmes. Then-Vice President Jennifer Bacon and I led the Board of Education to unanimously support the reunification of Montbello High School. This would fulfill the promise I made to Denverites when I ran for this seat in 2019.

I was a leader in restoring teachers’ rights and upholding flexibility in our innovation schools. 

My commitment to our students has been proven repeatedly, which is why I believe we must govern with the community, not to the community. I have partnered with organizations like DenCOKid to lead the fight to ensure all students have access to universal dyslexia screening. 

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When re-elected, I will continue this work by ensuring that families in Denver have access to high-quality neighborhood schools, regardless of school model. 

  • Redeveloping school boundaries and enrollment zones to ensure we maintain functional classroom sizes for 1:1 learning opportunities.

  • Preserving choice for families. I am pro-choice, whether that choice revolves around reproductive rights or the right of a student or family to choose the school that is best for them, often for highly personal reasons. However, we also must remember that a majority of Denver families, like my own who use choice, choose a district-run school. 

  • One size does not fit all when it comes to closing the opportunity gap for our students. All kids must be reading and doing math at grade level. We must reassess how we monitor our students' academic achievement and partner with our educators to create and implement individualized learning plans for every student, so they are college and career ready.