DENVER — Governor Elect Jared Polis has a lot of work to do before he takes office January 8th.
In addition to appointing his own office staff, Polis is responsible for appointing executive directors for dozens of state agencies.
As a result, Polis has created a transition team to assist with the selection process.
Polis is working with veteran Colorado lawmakers from Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran to Sheriff Joe Pelle of Boulder County.
It’s Polis’ education picks however that is creating controversy with some in the education community.
Polis announced former Republican Congressman U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer, State Senator Mike Johnston, and education activisit Jen Walmer would all serve on his transition team.
All three are controversial for their views toward charter schools and teachers unions. Schaffer is particularly controversial with his views on vouchers.
Some backlash on social media has even taken place.
By choosing DFERs and LPRs voucher king Schaffer, @PolisForCO has just angered many, many, already politically active, Public Ed. Supporting suburban women. Bad move! Game on!
— Patricia Crowley (@pecrowley382) November 9, 2018
This is a big mistake on Polis' part. There are no parents or teachers on this transition team. https://t.co/sgFLcnHLxD
— Jim Earley (@xml_jim) November 12, 2018
“I was really disappointed,” Jim Earley, a Jefferson County school advocate, said Monday.
“My biggest concern is that there aren’t enough voices from local communities in the education transition,” Earley added.
Earley expressed frustration that some of the figures involved have been so polarizing with education advocates at the local level.
Polis transition team members emphasized to Fox31 Monday, Polis is simply doing what he promised during the campaign — listen to all sides. The Colorado Education Association is also a part of the transition effort.
“He is reaching out across party lines as he said he would,” Andy Boian, a Fox31 Political Analyst, said.
Polis’ style with education and other initiatives may just take a while for the political class in Colorado to become accustomed. Unlike other Governor Elects in other states like Ohio, Kansas or California — he has yet to hold a tradition press conference. Polis is however active on social media.
— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) November 11, 2018
If interested in participating in the transition effort, interested Coloradans can apply on the transition website.