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Bob Schaffer
Bob is one of Colorado 's foremost and most experienced education policy leaders and experts. As a former State Senator and US Congressman, Bob served as Vice-chairman of the Senate Education Committee and as a Member of the US House Education and the Workforce Committee where he was Vice-chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families. He has been involved in nearly all aspects of public education. more»

October 31, 2006

Schaffer right for education
Tribune Opinion

Bob Schaffer is a man of his word. When he campaigned in 1996 for the 4th Congressional District seat, he vowed he would step down after serving three terms. And he did just that, leaving Congress in January 2003.

It's that kind of principled commitment that makes Schaffer, a Republican, the better choice to again represent the 4th District, this time on the
Colorado State Board of Education.

Members of the board of education are charged by the state's constitution with the general supervision of the public schools. They have numerous powers and duties specified in state law, including accreditation of school districts, English Language Proficiency Act and the Public School Finance Act of 1994.

Schaffer already knows how the system works. He was appointed by Gov. Bill Owens last winter to serve out the term vacated when Claire Orr resigned.

Schaffer's Democratic opponent, Tom Griggs is a professor of education at the University of Northern Colorado. He clearly has a passion for providing public school students with the best possible education. And we're sure he conveys that passion well to his university students.

However, we're not convinced Griggs has done all of his homework on the true intent of the state Board of Education. For example, he told the Tribune's editorial board that he wanted to be an advocate for teachers.

If anything, though, the state board should first be an advocate for the students. But actually, the board is more about the nuts and bolts of overseeing state education, while the individual districts focus on their distinctive needs.

Schaffer put it more succinctly when talking to us this fall, "The state board is an administrative job. It's monotonous, boring details. I love it."

We do have some concerns about his intense support for charter schools, but we're sure he'll rule with measured diplomacy on any issues that come before the board, taking into consideration what's best for the whole of the 4th District and the state.

That said, we recommend you vote for Bob Schaffer. His integrity is something we can all admire and respect.



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