Despite Kennedy loss, public education front and center in general election

Campaigning on a pledge to make public education Colorado’s #1 priority, Cary Kennedy came up short in the Democratic primary, June 26, ending her bid to become the state’s next governor.

“Tonight is a hard loss for Colorado’s educators and students, but we know that education was the top issue in the primary campaign and will continue to be in the general election," said Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association. "Cary is an education champion who is deeply committed to great public schools in all communities, where every child has the opportunity to succeed. Educators know Cary would have been an amazing governor, and we are so proud to have joined this grassroots movement to support a true friend of public education.

“I am so grateful for our dedicated educators across the state who knocked doors and made calls to spread Cary’s message of positive education solutions and her sincere desire to move the state forward for all Colorado families. Her campaign was outspent but certainly not out-hustled,” Dallman continued. “While Cary will not be moving on to the general election, the core issues she advocated for will move forward - adequately funding the schools our students deserve, solving Colorado’s dire educator shortage, and respecting the voice of teachers and education support professionals in all education decisions. Educators will do everything in our power to ensure the two remaining candidates address these issues and show their determination to make public education Colorado’s #1 priority.”

Kennedy was the endorsed gubernatorial candidate of the CEA and American Federation for Teachers – Colorado. Her long and impressive record of supporting public education includes:

• Crafting legislation that created the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program, which has funded the renovation and replacement of more than 380 dilapidated Colorado schools without new state taxes;

• Writing Amendment 23 and leading the statewide campaign to pass it, which prioritized state education funding and avoided even deeper budget cuts in Colorado public schools;

• Fully committing to the financial stability of members’ PERA funds and delivering a stable, defined-benefit retirement to educators and other state employees during her term as Colorado’s state treasurer.

“This spring, educators elevated our voices in unprecedented ways and we will continue to do so. We look forward to engaging our communities in this election about the importance of protecting public education, its funding and our mission for our members. Educator voice still matters in Election 2018 and we will highlight what are sure to be vast differences between the two candidates in creating strong neighborhood public schools in every Colorado community,” added CEA Vice President and President-elect Amie Baca-Oehlert.

Educators are excited that State Rep. Dave Young will move on as the Democratic nominee for state treasurer. Young was a public school teacher in Greeley for 24 years, a former president of the Greeley Education Association, and is a lifelong CEA member. As with Kennedy, Young was CEA’s unanimous choice for public office in a member-driven, democratic recommendation process that represents more than 35,000 educators across the state.