Thursday forum aims to educate public on school finance |

Thursday forum aims to educate public on school finance

If you go:

What: Steamboat Springs Community Forum on Education #1: School finance

Where: Steamboat Springs High School auditorium, 45 Maple St.

When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27

— Like all districts in Colorado, the Steamboat Springs School District’s funding was adversely affected by the Great Recession.

But whether the district has and continues to make the best budgetary decisions is often called into question, according to Dean Vogelaar, a member of the Community Committee for Education, or CC4E.

“One of the issues that was brought forward from the public was did the school district and did the school board make good decisions?” Vogelaar said. “When the crunch hit, and moving forward, did they make the appropriate adjustments to the budget?”

Vogelaar and other members of CC4E’s finance task force are aiming to educate the public on the nuances of school finance during a forum from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Steamboat Springs High School. The event is co-sponsored by Steamboat Today.

“We want to provide the factual, basic information of how schools are financed in the state, and more specifically, how they are financed in Steamboat Springs,” said Vogelaar, who recently retired from his role as senior vice president and chief operating officer of Mountain Valley Bank.

Presentations will include “Paying for our schools: Everything you need to know” by Colorado Fiscal Institute Executive Director Carol Hedges and “A look behind the budget numbers” by Steamboat Springs School District Director of Finance Mark Rydberg.

Vogelaar said Thursday’s presentations would show people how cutbacks have significantly impacted the district’s budget and the complexity of balancing that budget.

“It’s been complicated,” Vogelaar said.

Other members of CC4E’s finance task force include Adonna Allen, president of Alpine Bank, Karen McRight, director of marketing and business development for Yampa Valley Medical Center, Jeanne Mackowski, CC4E member and parent, and Rydberg.

An upcoming CC4E forum on demographics is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 and an upcoming forum on accountability and policy is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, both at Library Hall.

Forums on school facilities are planned for early 2017.

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

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