School Board to review BOCES report today | SteamboatToday.com

School Board to review BOCES report today

Educational services provider asks Steamboat for additional funds

Jack Weinstein

— The financial struggles of the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services will highlight tonight’s Steamboat Springs School Board meeting.

Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Shalee Cunningham and Finance Director Dale Mellor will present board members with a report at about 6:35 p.m. at the George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street. The report will inform board members about a meeting Cunningham and Mellor attended Friday in Kremmling – with the superintendents of the five other districts that receive shared services from BOCES – about the cooperative agency’s budget woes.

In a board meeting last month, BOCES asked its six member districts to pay for fees it did not collect for services provided during the 2008-09 school year – a nearly $317,000 budget deficit. The first presentation from BOCES asked the districts to pay amounts that would provide BOCES with some reserves. When the BOCES board meets again Thursday, the districts will be asked to pay only their share of the budget deficit.

BOCES officials also told school districts in September that the fees for services this school year were increasing. Overall, the financial news caught school district officials off-guard and wondering about their ability to pay BOCES. Thursday’s meetings will hopefully provide more answers, school officials have said.

Mellor also will provide the School Board today with a presentation about federal funding BOCES has paid to the districts and what portion of that funding BOCES still owes local districts. BOCES receives federal funding for special education services that it distributes to the districts or spends on programming for the districts.

Board members also will hear a report from Transportation Director Ed Dingledine about using the balance from the Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, grant that it received about two years ago. Funding from the grant, which requires the district to match any dollars spent on projects, already has been used to purchase 800 MHz radios for district staff and the security cameras and automated door access systems at district facilities.

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If approved, the district would provide $21,350 from its capital construction fund to pay for one-half of the cost to purchase the bus surveillance cameras. Matching funds from the COPS grant would pay the balance to fund the project.

The new cameras would replace an outdated system that was purchased with an $8,000 Education Fund Board gift awarded in 2005.

The School Board meeting begins at 6 p.m. today, followed by executive session until 6:35 p.m. The superintendent’s reports, time for community comments, action and consent agenda items will follow. The meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 8:30 p.m.

If you go

What: Steamboat Springs School Board meeting

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street

Agenda highlights

6 p.m. Call to order

6:02 p.m. Executive session

6:35 p.m. Superintendent report including BOCES financial update

7 p.m. Community Comments

7:15 p.m. Action items including school bus safety surveillance and extension of the COPS grant

7:30 p.m. Governance Process Policies review

8 p.m. Consent Agenda items

8:30 p.m. Adjourn

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