U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, right, a Colorado Democrat. (Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun)

By Sarah Darville and Kalyn Belsha, Chalkbeat

Former Denver Public Schools chief Michael Bennet hasn’t qualified for the next Democratic presidential debate.

But he’s still pursuing the nomination — and trying to win supporters with his education bona fides.

Bennet, a U.S. senator from Colorado, released an education plan Thursday that he says draws from his experience as superintendent. While his time in that role was marked by controversial decisions to close underenrolled schools and allow charter schools to operate in district buildings, his policy plan steers clear of those ideas.

Instead, it calls for the federal government to spend more on things like universal free preschool, pay raises for teachers, and evening out spending disparities across schools.

“I spent a significant part of my life in classrooms,” Bennet told reporters on Wednesday. “I’ve seen what works.”

Read more at chalkbeat.org.

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization covering schools and education. The news organization believes education is a local issue, and roots its coverage in local communities. Chalkbeat reports from and about eight locations: Colorado, Chicago,...