School board to consider all-day kindergarten mill levy Wednesday | SteamboatToday.com
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School board to consider all-day kindergarten mill levy Wednesday

Teacher Carol Harris works with kindergarten students on an art project in 2013.
071316-kindergarten_file

If you go:

What: Steamboat Springs Board of Education meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 13

Where: District office board room, 325 Seventh St.

— The Steamboat Springs Board of Education on Wednesday is expected to vote on whether to proceed with putting a mill levy override on the November ballot to fund all-day kindergarten.

Board members have previously indicated their support for finding a long-term solution for making all-day kindergarten free for all students, but the board also has discussed how a mill levy override on this year’s ballot might effect the chances of a future bond measure to fund capital improvements.

The state of Colorado currently funds kindergarten at about 58 percent of what is provided for students in other grades, leaving districts to charge tuition or use money from the general fund budget to pick up costs for students to attend a full-day program.



The Steamboat Springs School District previously charged tuition of $2,400 per student to upgrade from a half-day to a full-day program. For the 2015-16 school year, the district asked for $330,000 from the Education Fund to make tuition free.

For 2016-17, the district prioritized other grant requests from the Education Fund, and tuition was ultimately set at $600 per student, with the remainder of the cost coming from the district’s general fund and a portion of a $33,500 gift from the Education Fund, which was split between Routt County districts.



The board has heard from several proponents of free full-day kindergarten across the past several months, including local nonprofits and social services agencies.

“Many families cannot afford the $600 tuition,” wrote Kate Nowak, executive director of Routt County United Way, in a June letter to the board. “I encourage you to look for ways to cover the cost of full-day kindergarten so the education is accessible to all.”

The board in June added Wednesday’s meeting to the board meeting calendar to discuss the kindergarten mill levy prior to a July 29 date when the district would need to notify the county clerk of its intention to have something on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The board meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the district office board room, 325 Seventh St. View the full meeting agenda at sssd.k12.co.us.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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