Denver school board says charter school and innovation zone employees can’t be elected

The Denver school board expanded its conflict-of-interest policy Thursday to ban employees of independent charter schools and semi-autonomous innovation zones from serving on the board.

The policy already barred district employees from being board members. But it didn’t account for employees at independently run charter schools, or employees of the nonprofit organizations that oversee innovation zones. The zones are groups of district-run schools granted waivers from certain district and state rules.

The school board has the power to authorize charter schools and innovation zones, and also to decide whether or not to renew them every few years.

The current seven-member school board passed the policy change unanimously and without public discussion. The timing is notable: the next school board election is Nov. 2, and four of the 13 candidates were affiliated with the district professionally last school year.

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