Former District 51 board member sworn in to state board of education

Former School District 51 board member Marcia Neal was sworn in Tuesday to the state board of education and went right back to work.

Neal beat out Jill Brake of Pueblo in November to represent the 3rd Congressional District after incumbent Pamela Jo Suckla chose not to run for re-election.

Neal said she spent Monday morning in orientation sessions and exited with about five inches worth of books and materials to study.

“It’s very interesting but very intense,” she said.

The Colorado Department of Education is divided into two divisions, Neal said, and she heard from department heads within the education and business divisions.

“I tend to be much more interested in the education side than the business side,” she said.

Sessions included briefings on the effects of the No Child Left Behind Act on Colorado schools, schools of choice in this state and budget procedure.

Neal also met with the board’s legislative liaison and today, along with the rest of the board, will meet with state legislators from both houses who sit on education committees.

“I don’t look for them to do a lot of dramatic legislation, simply because legislation almost always costs money,” Neal said of the 2009 legislative session. “There is no money.”

Neal said she expects much of the board’s time in the coming months will be spent trying to revise Colorado’s education statutes.

“Our standards are so wide and broad they’re sometimes referred to as a mile wide and an inch deep,” she said.


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