North Routt The members of the North Routt Charter Board will present their proposal for a charter school to the residents of Steamboat Springs today.
The proposed charter school would be on a three-year contract and would cap at 25 kindergarten through fifth-grade students.
The school could potentially expand to include students as old as eighth-graders. The charter group is requesting 95 percent of per-pupil funding from the Steamboat Springs School District. The charter group also wants the district to cover its liability and insurance costs.
The school would offer traditional classes such as math and reading along with more place-based learning opportunities in which the children could have more contact with their own community.
Charter board member Sandy Clark said she thinks the school will receive support in the city, in part because a number of the parents in Steamboat know the hardships of the north Routt students, many of whom have to take long bus rides to and from school.
"We seem to be getting very positive feedback (from the Steamboat community)," added charter board member Shaunna Watterson. "They do have concerns, but I don't think they are concerns that can't be addressed."
At the last meeting on the charter school in the Moonhill Schoolhouse just south of Clark, School District Superintendent Cyndy Simms said allocating money to the charter school could have an adverse impact on the students at the city's established schools.
That financial matter may not stop the school from going forward, but it could become an issue with the school board, Simms said.
The district receives the bulk of its funding via a state finance formula that allocates the district's per-pupil dollars each year.
This year, the district received $5,868 per pupil. If the 25 proposed students were to move to the new charter school, the per-pupil funding for each of the departing children would go with them.
That would mean a net loss of about $145,000 for the district, Simms said. If losing the charter school students allowed the district to drop a teacher or two, the impact of losing $145,000 in funding wouldn't be as great.