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The school reopening debate

DOUGLAS (Axios): Douglas County schools resume full-time in-person learning today, but the political fallout from closing classrooms is not over.

Why it matters: DougCo became ground zero in the debate after critics attempted to recall four school board members who initially refused to resume in-person learning.

The Road2Recall petition leader Nate Ormond tells Axios that he plans to focus on the controversial matter in November’s election as a way to oust current school board members.

What they’re saying: “It’s an issue that is going to resonate with a large number of folks, most notably the suburban voters who have been shifting Democratic in the most recent elections,” GOP strategist Ryan Lynch says.

The big picture: This particular debate extends well beyond Douglas County.

CU Regent Heidi Ganahl opened a recent opinion column with four words in all caps: “OPEN THE DAMN SCHOOLS.”

The message for Polis was widely seen as an opening salvo in the 2022 governor’s race in which Ganahl is considered a possible GOP candidate.

Polis is an advocate for reopening schools but stopped short of ordering the return of students to classrooms, like Arizona’s governor.

The other side: Democrats dispute the notion that the issue will have staying power once students return.

“If people erred on the side of caution to keep people alive … it’s not an overblown thing,” said consultant Sheila MacDonald.