Education Fund Board OKs 2nd readings |

Education Fund Board OKs 2nd readings

Half-cent sales tax revenues to fund $2.3M next school year

The Education Fund Board approved all second reading requests Wednesday from the Routt County school districts and local community groups for next year.

Fund Bo­a­rd members approved $2,302,145 in funding req­­uests from the Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt school districts and Partners in Routt County, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Yampatika. The districts and community groups initially requested more than $2.8 million for the 2011-12 school year.

"We have had some distractions this year, but tonight is what we're here for," Fund Board President Kristi Brown said, "getting money in the hands of the districts and the community groups to affect our kids."

Brown was referring to the Fund Board's dealings with the Internal Revenue Service after former accountant Paul Strong failed to file the nonprofit organization's Form 990, its annual tax return, for tax years 2006 to 2009.

The IRS in November assessed penalties totaling $168,700, which were waived in January. The action meant that the volunteer group that allocates the city of Steamboat Springs half-cent sales tax for education could concentrate on what it was tasked to do.

As approved, the funding breakdown is: 85 percent for Steamboat, 5.9 percent for Hayden, 6.1 percent for South Routt and 2.9 percent for the community groups. Each district was funded less than it initially requested, but the community groups suffered the deepest cuts as the Fund Board found ways to pay for "core" programs.

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Because it received $14,000 less than requested, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps' Science School will be reduced next year for Steamboat students, as it stands right now.

Youth Corps Executive Dir­ector Gretchen Van De Carr said instead of sixth-graders attending the outdoor education program for five days and three nights in two groups, they would attend only for one night during the five-day period at a reduced cost of $85 instead of $125. She said they would leave Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, where the program is held, four days at the time school typically lets out — a 30 percent reduction in the program.

Van De Carr said the Youth Corps is working on alternative funding sources to keep the program at its current level, where it will remain for Hayden and South Routt sixth-graders. Still, Van De Carr said she was grateful for the $20,000 Youth Corps received.

"I appreciate that the Education Fund Board sees the value in the community programs because I can't stop thinking about the discussion around core curriculum," she said. "It's that old adage, if a kid doesn't want to learn, it doesn't matter how great the education is. I think Yampatika, Partners and Science School bring that desire to learn to children."

In other action, the Fund Board approved the 2011-12 budget of $2,412,145, which includes the second readings; $80,000 for the Fund Board's grant writer, which hasn't yet been approved on second reading; and $30,000 for its administrative costs. The budget leaves an estimated $600,000 in reserves.

The Fund Board also voted to approve moving $5,000 to its administrative budget of $30,000, which it currently has overspent by $127, accountant Linda Johnson said. The Fund Board will have to pay $2,830.58 for digitizing past meeting minutes and financial statements.

At the end of the meeting, Steamboat Springs School Board member Laura Anderson, a nonvoting Fund Board member, thanked other Fund Board members and members of the Technology/Capital and Educational Excellence commissions.

"We're all in a tight squeeze this year and probably will be next year," she said. "Every little bit helps. We appreciate that."

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email

Fund Board requests*

■ Steamboat Springs

Item: Initial request; amount funded

Effective classrooms: $980,000; $885,000

Technology: $1.1 million; $944,213

Staff development: $40,000; $40,000

Curriculum director (to share with South Routt): $60,000; $0

Third- through eighth-grade Spanish instruction: $100,000; $90,000

Summer school (to share with South Routt): $20,000; $0

Total: $2,300,000; $1,959,213

■ Hayden

Technology support staff member: $49,839; $49,839

Software license: $7,100; $3,500

Reading software: $3,000; $3,000

Middle school paraprofessional: $21,846; $21,846

SMART Board grant match: $25,000; $25,000

Computers: $15,445; $15,445

Adobe software: $13,999; $9,900

Auditorium: $25,500; $0

Summer school: $7,500; $7,500

Total: $169,229; $136,030

■ South Routt

SMART Board grant match: $86,250; $50,000

Desktop computers: $30,000; $26,250

Reading software: $5,498; $5,498

Intervention support staff: $23,346; $23,346

Curriculum software: $13,500; $9,308

Antivirus software: $3,000; $3,000

Science chemical storage and fume hood: $16,500; $16,500

Heated underground walkway between high and middle schools: $34,595; $0

Curriculum director (to share with Steamboat): $40,000 $0

Summer school (to share with Steamboat) $7,500; $7,500

Total: $260,189; $141,402

■ Community groups

Partners in Routt County school-based mentoring program: $50,000; $37,500

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Yampa Valley Science School: $34,000; $20,000

Yampatika environmental literacy programs: $29,692; $8,000

Soroco Booster Club: $1,900; $0

Total: $115,592; $65,500

Total initial requests: $2,845,010

Amount funded: $2,302,145

*Some requests pulled by the districts before second readings

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