After AP History Edits, Colorado Ed Board Recall Makes November Ballot

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September 4, 2015 12:57 p.m.

The recall election for the three Jefferson County school board members who pushed for changes to the AP U.S. History curriculum will be placed on the general November ballot, the county clerk announced on Thursday.

Critics of the school board majority submitted recall petitions in July. Board members Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk have been criticized by parents and students for an attempt to make sure the AP U.S. History course emphasized “positive aspects of the United States and its heritage.” The plan was nixed after students staged walk-outs protesting the proposed changes. Parents are also concerned about the board’s stance on school choice and teacher turnover in the Colorado district.

The county clerk quickly certified that the recall petitions had enough signatures to make the ballot, but formal objections to the petitions could have delayed the recall election. If the election did not make the November ballot, the special election could have cost the school district $500,000, according to Chalkbeat Colorado. Numerous board members faced with a recall vote asked supporters not to protest the petitions.

Though county clerk placed the the recall election on the November ballot, CBS Denver reported that it may still require a special election. A letter from the Colorado Secretary of State warned that it may be extremely difficult for the recall election to make the general election ballot.

The school board recall election in Jefferson County may shape up into a big fight with national money pouring in from both sides. Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group back by the Koch brothers, has already begun efforts related to the recall.

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