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Despite new law, most new Colorado school board members won't get paid yet

Election day is Nov. 2
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Posted at 7:38 AM, Oct 26, 2021

Despite a new Colorado law that allows school board members to be compensated for their work, few school boards have taken any action to implement a plan to pay incoming board members.

Last week, the Aurora Public Schools Board of Education debated a resolution to pay board members $150 per day for board related activities up to three days per month. But Board President Kyla Armstrong-Romero said the board was unable to get more community feedback, and decided to postpone a final vote.

"Trying to hurry up and pass this resolution before the new board members are sworn in or elected, it just didn't feel right," Armstrong-Romero said.

Aurora could have become the first metro area school district to compensate school board members. Chalkbeat reports the Denver Public Schools Board of Education has discussed passing a resolution that would allow the next group of new board members to be paid, but hasn't taken any action.

Under the new state law, current board members cannot vote to pay themselves. So any resolution enacted by a school board would only apply to future board members. This means many of the new school board members elected after Nov. 2 will likely vote on whether or not to compensate members elected two years from now.

During the 2021 legislative session, Denver7 went 360 on the proposal to pay school board members. Armstrong-Romero said the small stipend could help school boards attract more diverse candidates, such as parents who could use it to pay for child care.

"$150 per school board activity is not enough for anyone to survive off of, but it is something that gives folks an incentive if you're taking off work for the day to attend a board meeting, etc." she said.

Armstrong-Romero is not seeking re-election. Six candidates, including one incumbent, are running for four open seats on the Aurora Public Schools Board of Education.