DALLAS — Denver Public Schools officials are defending a 2008 derivatives deal amid accusations that the district took unnecessary risks that cost millions of dollars and harmed its ability to hire teachers.

The $750 million issue of certificates of participation was designed to close a $400 million gap in the DPS pension fund. It became a political issue in the weeks before Tuesday’s primary election victory by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet over former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

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