Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs School Board thinks it's not alone in regards to its opposition to a Montessori charter school.
Now it wants the numbers to prove it.
The School Board voted Monday to place an advisory question on the November ballot asking voters how they feel about the Montessori issue.
"It's just kind of an official opinion poll of voters," School Board President Paul Fisher said Monday.
The outcome of the vote will not be binding, Fisher said, but it will provide a clear indication of where the community stands on the issue. "It could have some effect in the upcoming disposition of the lawsuit," Fisher said.
The board feels the majority of public opinion is on its side, Fisher said. The idea for an advisory ballot question was first raised by board member Tom Sharp a year ago, Fisher said. At the time, the School Board felt the issue was too new and evolving for it to be put before voters.
"We felt there was still board work to be done," Fisher said. "We felt it was premature. Now we're at the point where we're being sued and this is a more appropriate time to put this before the voters."
Steamboat Springs Montes-sori filed a lawsuit against the school district and the board in a Denver District Court last week. The lawsuit seeks to enforce a State Board of Education order that the Montessori charter school application be approved. The Steamboat School Board says the State Board's order is an unfunded mandate, meaning the local board has the option to refuse the order under Colorado law.
The School Board has 20 days from the date the lawsuit was filed to respond to it. Fisher said the board will respond within that time frame.
The decision to place the ballot question was reached Monday during a special meeting called by the School Board. The issue was not on the meeting's agenda, but Fisher said the board had to act during the meeting because it will not meet again in time to declare the question before the election.
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