It’s hardly a secret that we here at Peak are not huge fans of the Aurora Sentinel or their left-wing editorial page editor Dave Perry.

We’ve been pretty transparent about that over the years.

It’s also no secret that the Aurora Public Schools is perennially one of the worst performing school districts in the state.

As of 2019, the district ranked near the bottom statewide in assessments of english language and math across grade levels.

So why then are school officials wasting more than $60,000 in taxpayer dollars a year on weekly full page print ads in the Sentinel?

Figures obtained recently from the school system show that since 2019, the district opted to blow more than $120,000 on full page print ads in a partisan rag with dwindling print circulation.

The paper hasn’t published updated print circulation figures in some time, but $1,400 per week for full page ads in the Sentinel isn’t reaching anyone beyond a few aging liberals who only subscribe for the crossword puzzles.

Yet that lucrative revenue stream for the Sentinel appears to have paid dividends for school administrators and their teacher union allies.

A review of the paper’s online editorials shows neither Perry nor the editorial board appear to have published a single editorial critical of Aurora school administrators in recent history.

“Schools brimming with struggling students need more teachers and more experts to solve non-educational problems for students,” the Sentinel wrote last year.

One thing “schools brimming with struggling students” do not need is their district wasting money to buy the entire back page of the Sentinel every week.

Given the dire state of public education in Aurora, it’s hardly unreasonable to argue those resources would be better directed at hiring an additional educator at any of the district’s troubled schools.

Another problem is that the ads offer a perverse incentive for the Sentinel to avoid criticizing a poorly performing school district that deserves aggressive oversight from Perry and the paper’s journalists.

We know that might not come naturally for union shills like Perry.

However, the school district is facing the possibility of a state takeover sometime in the next few years if student performance doesn’t improve.

School administrators cannot continue to blow more than $1,400 of taxpayer dollars a week on kickbacks to their partisan allies at the Sentinel.

Let’s hope Aurora public school students, teachers, and their parents speak up and put a stop to this grift.