April 4, 2018
By Susan Polis Schutz
Over the last 20 years, my son Jared has served as chairman of the Colorado Board of Education, tirelessly fought for Colorado families in Congress, and become the parent of two beautiful children. And through it all, he still calls his mother every day.
Every parent’s greatest hope is that their children live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Twenty-two years ago, I was so proud to watch Jared graduate college. But the truth is that at the time, I couldn’t have cared less whether Jared went on to pursue a business career or went to law school or entered politics — as long as he was doing something he loved.
For those who know my son, his passion has always been education. As a former teacher, I’m so proud that Jared has dedicated his life to ensuring that children across Colorado have the same opportunities he’s had to pursue his dreams — and that parents in Colorado get to experience the joy my husband and I have had in watching our three children grow up and do incredible things.
In 2000, Jared ran for the Colorado Board of Education — winning an election statewide at the age of 25 (during a year when George W. Bush won the state by more than eight points). Jared immediately got to work — fighting to raise pay for teachers while reducing class size for students. By the end of his tenure he had become the youngest chairman of the Colorado Board of Education in our state’s history and the first Democrat to hold the position in more than 30 years.
With all of this on his plate, Jared still devoted his off hours to helping children in Colorado who needed it. He founded several non-profit public schools for at-risk children and served as superintendent of the New America School, which helps new immigrants earn their high school diploma. He set up a foundation dedicated to making sure children in low-income communities have access to computers. I watched with pride as some students who never would have been able to attend public school graduated and went on to community or four-year colleges.
After six years of fighting for our public schools in Colorado, Jared took the fight to Washington, where he played a vital role in repealing and replacing the disastrous No Child Left Behind policy with the Every Student Succeeds Act — a bill to help every student regardless of zip code have access to a great education.
During a time when Betsy DeVos continues to attack our public schools we need someone with the experience, energy, and work ethic to stand up and fight for our students and our teachers right here at home. My son’s entire career has been spent finding ways to make sure that every single child gets the great education they need to unlock the bright future they deserve. This is a fight my son has been preparing for his whole life.
And when he’s our governor, when he’s spending every day fighting for our public schools and standing up to the Trump administration, yes I still expect him to call me every day.