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State Board of Education winners: Longtime Boulder school board member beats well-funded opponent

Jenny Brundin,, June 25, 2024, updated June 26, 2024


Kathy Gebhardt, Burton Brown win respective board of education races

Thelma Grimes, Colorado Politics, June 25, 2024, updated Jun 26, 2024

Charter schools are trying to buy Colorado’s Board of Education

Trish Zornio, Colorado Sun, June 24, 2024
Dark money is infiltrating the race in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, and the results could upend public education if voters aren’t paying attention.

Boulder’s Democratic primary becomes million-plus-dollar election

John Herrick for the Boulder Reporting Lab, June 19, 2024

The future of Colorado charter schools could be determined by the Democratic primary for State Board of Education

Sandra Fish and Erica Breunlin, Colorado Sun, June 18, 2024

Going Dark: Tracking corporate PAC money in Colorado's 2024 primary

Shay Castle, Boulder Weekly, June 17, 2024

Colorado State Board Of Education Primary Election Attracts Big Money

Peter Greene, Forbes, June 15, 2024

The Dark Money Funding a Candidate for Colorado’s State Board of Education
Mike DeGuire, Colorado Times Recorder, June 12, 2024 

Colorado primary election: 2nd Congressional District State Board of Education candidate Q&A

Natasha Lovato, Ft. Collins Coloradoan, June 11, 2024

2024 Primary: Colorado State Board of Education District 2—Kathy Gebhardt vs. Marisol Lynda Rodriguez

Boulder Weekly Staff, June 5, 2024


Kathy Gebhardt

Ballotopedia, June, 2024


Kathy Gebhardt – State Board of Education, D2

2024 Primary Vote Guide — Candidate Q & A

Boulder Weekly Staff, June 3, 2024


Kathy Gebhardt announces bid for Colorado State Board of Education

Amy Bounds for the Boulder Daily Camera, December 6, 2023


Throughout the past year, I have seen Kathy Gebhardt at many, many events in her campaign for the State Board of Education for CD2.

I have never seen her opponent in the community or on the campaign trail. Now, Kathy is the target of nearly $600,000 in dark money from an Independent Expenditure Committee.

As this Forbes(link) article put it, “her opponent has been rarely visible on the campaign trail, but advertising supporting her campaign has been omnipresent.”

I wanted to alert you to the massive influx of funding at the eleventh hour for someone who has not been campaigning in the community. Because of Kathy’s experience, Kathy has the endorsement of Congressman Joe Neguse, all of the major teachers unions, and many other elected officials in our area – including me. — Michael Dougherty, District Attorney

If you have questions about a recent mailing from my opponent...
See these articles for context and background.

New Erie school moves forward despite proximity to possible fracking site

by Amy Bounds for the Boulder Daily Camera 3/29/2016


Boulder Valley OKs new school in Erie near potential drilling site

by John Aguilar for the Denver Post 3/29/2016

Letters to the Editor

Kathy Gebhardt for State Board of Education June 24, 2024 by Tessa Kirchner, Former Eagle County School District Board of Education Member, Vail Daily To Whom It May Concern, I am writing to offer my enthusiastic endorsement of Kathy Gebhardt for election to the State Board of Education. Kathy is the most qualified candidate for this crucial position, and her extensive experience, unwavering dedication, and proven leadership make her the ideal choice to help guide the future of our educational system. Kathy Gebhardt's credentials are unparalleled. She has served with distinction on a local school board, as well as within the state and national associations of school board directors, consistently rising to leadership roles in each of these organizations. Her ability to navigate and influence these various levels of educational governance is a testament to her expertise and commitment to improving our schools. Moreover, Kathy is a highly respected education attorney, known for her role as the lead attorney in Colorado's school finance litigation. Her legal acumen and deep understanding of educational policy have been instrumental in advocating for equitable funding and better resources for our schools. Kathy's legal work has had a profound impact on the education landscape in Colorado, ensuring that all students have access to the quality education they deserve. Kathy's personal commitment to public education is further evidenced by the fact that all five of her children attended public schools. She understands firsthand the challenges and opportunities within our public school system and is dedicated to creating an environment where every child can thrive. In contrast, Kathy's opponent, Marisol Rodriguez, while commendable in her own right as a parent of two current students and an education consultant, does not possess the same depth of experience or proven leadership in educational governance. Additionally, Rodriguez's campaign has raised an unprecedented $870,000 from sources that have raised eyebrows, underscoring the stark difference in campaign dynamics. I wholeheartedly support Kathy Gebhardt for the State Board of Education and encourage others to join me in voting for her in the upcoming election.

Kathy Gebhardt is a proven champion for public schools June 21, 2024 by Tina Mueh, Boulder Daily Camera Wondering what’s going on with the many mailers for Kathy Gebhardt’s opponent in the race for CD2’s State Board of Education seat? Mailers aren’t cheap, and voters should know there’s “dark money” spending, now in excess of $500,000, by an independent expenditure committee supporting Kathy’s opponent. IECs don’t have to disclose their funders. Colorado’s public education community is almost entirely united behind Kathy, but funding and support from the charter school complex is boosting Kathy’s opponent far beyond her qualifications for this position. Charter schools can be very profitable — some are for-profit and accountable to nobody though they receive state tax dollars. Kathy’s contributions to Colorado kids and schools far exceed those of her opponent. She’s served in leadership roles for school boards and associations at the local (BVSD!), state and national levels. This race is about who unquestioningly supports the proliferation of charter schools (Kathy’s opponent) and who tirelessly works to hold charters to the same accountability standards as our neighborhood public schools. I hope you’ll join me in voting for Kathy Gebhardt for State Board of Education and rejecting this attempt to undermine a proven champion for great public schools for ALL Colorado students.

Vote Gebhardt for State School Board June 21, 2024 by Nels Thoreson, Boulder Daily Camera My hope is that you would consider a vote for Kathy Gebhardt for the Colorado State Board of Education. Kathy has been a true champion for us at Justice High School, an at-risk, last-chance, public charter high school in the Boulder Valley School District. Her advocacy and support has resulted in a much-needed, complete remodel of our school, which has now become a second-home for our students. That kind of impact is simply life-changing. Justice High School students often get overlooked, but not by Kathy, for she has been instrumental in advocating for equality, equity and inclusion, for Justice High School and for schools throughout the entire district. Having her on the state board would be an incredible win for all students and parents throughout the state. I am forever grateful for her incredible work and I know she will continue to make a profound impact at the state level if given the opportunity. Thank you so much for your consideration in voting for Kathy. I appreciate it.

Gebhardt is a cool head who can find inspired solutions June 5, 2024 by Susan Churchill, Boulder Daily Camera Kathy Gebhardt, a 2024 candidate for the State Board of Education CD-2, is a community member who embodies hard work, common sense and a true commitment to bettering the lives of children across Colorado. Born, raised and educated in Colorado, Kathy spent the past thirty years working tirelessly in and around the public education system while raising five wonderful children who have all graduated from Colorado public schools. Kathy has served on a district school board, worked as a youth social worker, and as a lawyer she has focused on educational rights and school finance law. Creating and supporting fantastic educational environments is not easy. Multiple constituencies often have competing demands for limited resources. Schools throughout Colorado transport, feed and support learning throughout urban, suburban and rural school districts for close to a million students. In an age of flashpoint issues, Kathy is a cool head who understands that it’s important to get beyond labels and angry attention-grabbing rhetoric and seek out facts and find inspired solutions. Kathy understands that educating each child represents unique challenges and opportunities and finally she knows there is nothing more important to a great education than a professional, well-supported and outstanding educator. Whatever your politics, a vote for Kathy in this June 25 primary and in November for State School Board is a way to help Colorado secure a bright future.

Vote for Kathy Gebhardt for State Board of Education June 10, 2024 by Shari Malloy, Longmont Times/Call As a retired public school special education teacher of 35 years, I am hoping you will join me in voting for Kathy Gebhardt for our State Board of Education (BOE) for CD 2 in the Democratic primary this month. Kathy has been dedicated to advancing equitable and excellent public education policy and practices for 25 years. We need a proven public education advocate representing us on the BOE which serves a crucial role in enacting educational standards and accountability for our schools. Kathy served on Boulder Valley School Board (BVSD) for eight years; two years as president. She has traveled the entire state visiting schools and listening to communities as president of the Colorado Association of School Boards. She brought attention to the dismal state of public school funding in Colorado and successfully co-lead the legal challenge to improve funding which resulted in the largest increase in the state's history. She co-lead challenges in the courts to affirm children's constitutional rights. Over her many years of dedicated public service, Kathy has earned the respect and support of fellow education advocates. Just last month she was recognized by Great Education Colorado as a Champion of Public Education. Our State Board holds power and influence over the future direction of public education. We are fortunate to have this opportunity to vote for Kathy for the strong, tested and outstanding public education defender she is.

Letter Submission
June 10, 2024 by Claire Levy to the Boulder Daily Camera

I ardently support Kathy Gebhardt for State Board of Education. Kathy brings a wealth of experience to this position, including her service on the Board for BVSD and lead counsel in landmark litigation over inadequate funding for public education. As Chair of the BVSD School Board, Kathy worked on policies to foster diversity and inclusion, addressing the needs of diverse learners, and relationships with the teachers union. What's more, Kathy has had five children in our public schools. She is a quietly persuasive leader, who leads with the force of her ideas.

I have been puzzled by the expensive glossy mailers that have flooded my mailbox for Kathy's opponent. There is clearly a well-funded special interest behind them. With no track record of service, it is hard to know what Kathy's opponent has done or how she would represent Boulder County on the State Board of Education.

What I do know, is that when the State Board considered social studies standards that would not have included the contributions of LGBTQ+ people, Kathy fought against that. Kathy has fought for children with disabilities and has fought for the least well funded school districts. We would be fortunate to have her.

Letter to the Voters April 24, 2024 by George Welsh Dear . . . In my 25 years as a superintendent of schools in Colorado, I learned the importance of a strong and functional State Board of Education. When the State Board focuses on what’s best for kids, families and school districts benefit! During that time I also met Kathy Gebhardt and marvelled as, time after time, she made the seemingly impossible come true. It’s my suspicion many of your communities have greatly benefitted from Kathy’s selfless work. If not for her initiation of the Giardino lawsuit at the turn of the century, Colorado’s Building Excellent Schools Today program would not exist. Her advocacy resulted in the State of Colorado admitting responsibility when it comes to the physical condition of schools. When BEST was established, Kathy helped to establish how dollars would be distributed. How many children do you know who have benefitted from new or upgraded facilities thanks to a BEST grant? Many of you may also remember Kathy’s dogged fight for adequate funding through the Lobato lawsuit. Though her victory in the trial court was overturned at the Supreme Court level, much of the evidence she presented led to positive change for rural schools and those with high concentrations of at-risk students. It is my opinion this year’s proposed improvement of the funding formula can draw a direct line to inequities highlighted by Kathy in that trial. At the State Assembly in April, Kathy was unanimously nominated by delegates from across each of the counties of the 2nd congressional district to be the Democratic candidate for the Colorado State Board of Education. Unfortunately, an opposition candidate has emerged to challenge her in the primary election. This opponent is well funded and closely aligned with Democrats for Education Reform and the “Charter Schools Fix Everything” movement. I’m sure this candidate has positive intentions. However, she is no Kathy Gebhardt, defender of, and believer in public education. As a result, I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m asking you to contribute to a political campaign. Please, please, please, consider a donation to support Kathy’s candidacy. Her first battle will be her toughest; the primary election. Anything you can offer to help . . . 5, 10, 15, 20 dollars or more, will ensure we have an advocate for effective, equitable, public education, including in rural settings. If you wish to volunteer, donate or join her campaign, you can do so at: Sincerely, George Welsh

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