Rise & Shine: Puebloans talk school funding with Colorado school funding advocacy group

Good morning and happy Election Day Eve! Boy, do we have a lot of news for you!

We're nearly at the finish line after a short but brutal — and expensive — campaign season. In less than 48 hours, we'll know which direction some of the state's largest school districts will head in. Will the status quo be maintained in Denver and Douglas County? Or will a push back against "education reform" sweep along the Front Range?

Stick with Chalkbeat to find out.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's take a look at the latest school board election news from Friday and the weekend! — Nic Garcia, deputy bureau chief

P.S. If you still haven't made up your mind on who to vote for, check out these roundups on the races in Denver, Aurora, Douglas and Jefferson counties.

FOLLOW THE MONEY The latest round of campaign finance reports were due Friday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Denver school board incumbents continue to raise more money than challengers who want to push the district in a different direction. Chalkbeat
  • Oil man and voucher proponent Alex Cranberg donated $20,000 to Douglas County school board candidates who want to continue the legal defense of the district’s stalled private-school voucher program. Chalkbeat
  • Cash contributions for Aurora’s school board candidates have slowed down. Chalkbeat
  • The fundraising gap between incumbents and challengers in Jefferson County’s school board race has widened in the last weeks before Election Day. Chalkbeat
  • A Front Range political committee tied to teachers unions spent nearly $10,000 on behalf of two Durango school board candidates in October, bringing its total contributions to the candidates to $50,000. Durango Herald

UNITED STAND Three candidates locked in a battle for a northeast Denver school board seat came together in a show of unity Saturday after unsigned negative fliers appeared on the campaign trail, including one that sought to sow racial division. Chalkbeat

NATIONAL IMPLICATIONS Here’s a national take on why the vote on Tuesday matters and what the results could mean for schools across the U.S. Chalkbeat

TAKING A POSITION The candidates behind the “Elevate Douglas County” slate insists they’re not pro-voucher. Here’s a closer look at what that means. ColoradoPolitics.com

MONEY MATTERS Five Pikes Peak region school districts have financing measures on Tuesday’s ballot. Gazette

OFF YEAR ELECTIONS While school board races are hot this year along the Front Range, several Colorado counties have canceled their elections outright. CPR

LESS IS MORE Five Aurora Public Schools that have the freedom to try new ways to improve student performance are turning to a basic principle: keeping the focus narrow. Chalkbeat

EXPANSION A Denver-area charter network with promising academic results will take over a building currently occupied by a struggling charter and give enrollment preference to its students. Chalkbeat

SCHOOL FUNDING A group aiming to educate Coloradans on the state’s school funding system took the show on the road to Pueblo. Chieftain

CHOICE & TAXES Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ school-choice agenda is getting a bit of a boost from the Republican tax bill, which would allow parents to use education savings accounts to pay tuition at private elementary and secondary schools. AP via Gazette

SAFE SCHOOLS Sheriff’s deputies say a western Colorado student found a vail of methamphetamine on the grounds of an elementary school. AP via Denver Post

SHOW & TELL Colorado Springs high school students have been invited to perform next spring at Carnegie Hall. Gazette