Ex-teacher to run for Colo. state school board

Retired teacher and current District 51 Budget Oversight Committee Co-Chairwoman Barbara Ann Smith of Grand Junction has announced her candidacy for the Congressional District 3 seat on the state board of education.

Grand Junction Republican Marcia Neal has held the seat since she won election in November 2008. Neal said recently she does not plan to run for re-election in November 2014 because she believes six years is a long enough time to be on the board, which requires going to monthly meetings in Denver and often means traveling around the district.

Smith, also a Republican, is the sole candidate in the third district at this time. She said she has faced criticism for entering the race so early but she said it has allowed her to raise campaign funds and travel to various places in the district.

Smith, 69, taught special education in Grand Junction from 1970 to 1977 and taught at schools in Denver, Greeley, Virginia and California as well. If chosen as the Republican candidate for the board of education at an April caucus and elected next fall, she said she wants to focus on local control, the Colorado Department of Education’s budget, and skills training for the homeless at libraries. She said she also wants to examine why there are five levels of accreditation for schools and districts, ranging from accreditation to distinction to turnaround.

“I want to get deeper into what that means and why it isn’t accredited or not accredited,” Smith said.


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