Local school districts make 1st fund requests | SteamboatToday.com

Local school districts make 1st fund requests

Jack Weinstein

— The Education Fund Board will have some difficult decisions to make this spring.

At Wednesday night's meeting, the Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt school districts and four community groups presented initial funding requests in excess of $2.7 million.

Fund Board members voted, 5-2, to approve a 2010-11 preliminary budget of $2.3 million. Dean Massey and Roger Good voted against the budget because they wanted to spend more rather than put it in reserves. Of the amount budgeted, about $100,000 will be dedicated to pay for the Fund Board's administrative costs.

Board members voted, 7-0, to dedicate the remainder, about $2.2 million, to the Educational Excellence and Technology/Capital commissions to make funding recommendations to the Fund Board. Steamboat's requests exceed $2.3 million.

But because Educational Ex­c­ellence requests outweighed Technology/Capital by 57 percent to 43 percent, board members agreed to dedicate those percentages to each commission.

That leaves Educational Excellence with more than $1.25 million to gift. The group will consider more than $1.5 million in requests. It left Technology/Capital with $946,000 to gift. The group will consider more than $1.2 million in requests.

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But the Fund Board can adjust the allocation if it decides one commission or the other needs additional funding.

The districts and community groups will formally present their requests for funding to Educational Excellence on Jan. 13. They will formally present their requests to Technology/Capital on Jan. 20. Each commission will have two meetings to decide which requests it will present to the Fund Board for approval in February.

Fund Board President Mark Andersen stressed that approval of the preliminary budget Wednesday gave commission members an idea of how much they'll be able to gift. He said the final budget wouldn't be approved until March and could change by then, based on updated sales tax collection figures from the city.

When voters last renewed the tax in November 2008, they approved sharing it the Hayden and South Routt school districts. Gifts were approved for each district last school year, but the Fund Board last month approved new bylaws that define the districts' ability to request funding at the discretion of board members.

During their presentations, Steamboat Superintendent Sha­lee Cunningham, South Routt Superintendent Scott Mader and Hayden High School Principal Troy Zabel each expressed their gratitude to request funding, given the recession and projected cuts to statewide K-12 education.

Cunningham said Steamboat plans to cut about $2 million from its 2010-11 budget. Zabel said Hayden is estimating a reduction of about $300,000 in next school year's budget.

Hayden made about $139,000 in requests, mostly for technology. South Routt requested more than $135,000 in gifts, nearly $57,000 of which would be for financial and human resource management software.

Of the more than $2.3 million in requests from Steamboat, $800,000 was for the district to keep class sizes small. More than $480,000 was requested to pay for the district's six technology department staff members.

The Fund Board has a projected reserve of more than $900,000. Based on sales tax projections, the half-cent sales tax is estimated to generate $2.36 million in 2010-11. Fund Board accountant Paul Strong estimated the $2.3 million preliminary budget would leave the Fund Board with a $700,000 to $800,000 in reserves for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.


Steamboat Springs

Educational Excellence

Small class sizes: $800,000

Staff professional development: $75,000

English language learner teachers: $183,000

Third- through eighth-grade Spanish teachers: $110,000

Half-time counselor each for elementary and middle schools: $75,000

Three gifted and talented teachers: $155,000


Technology department staff: $480,380

Software and licenses: $136,120

Network: $70,000

Hardware, including computers: $113,000

Training: $25,000

Maintenance: $27,500

Library consortium and program: $30,000

Student Information Systems: $25,000

Online databases: $18,000

Accelerated Reader program: $5,000

Theater improvement: $23,500



Technology support staff member: $51,334

Smart board grant match: $7,404

Computers: $18,540

Web-based reading program: $7,200

Middle school para-educator interventions specialist:$21,846

High school auditorium upgrades: $25,500

Standardized software license: $7,100

Total: $138,924

South Routt

Financial software: $56,800

Reading program training for teachers: $22,266

Stipends for teachers’ summer work: $10,000

Desktop computers: $30,000

Chemical storage and fume hood: $16,500

Total: $135,566


Outdoor education pilot program: $5,500

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

Yampa Valley Science School: $28,000

Partners in Routt County

School-based mentoring program: $50,000

5th Quarter

After-school activities for high school students: $4,000

  • Hayden and South Routt’s requests are prioritized by district need. Steamboat’s are prioritized within each commission.