Fund Board to get district's revised recommendations

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— The Steamboat Springs School District's administrative team raised eyebrows Jan. 9 when it excluded capital projects from its funding recommendations to the Education Fund Board.

Tonight, the administrative team presents its second round of recommendations to the Fund Board, but whether those recommendations will be revised to include a middle school expansion project or an elementary school Spanish program is still unclear.

The Fund Board's Capital Commission has recommended allocating $400,000 of the revenue generated from the city's half-cent sales tax for a middle school expansion project. Additional funds will be required during the next two Fund Board budget cycles to fully finance the project.

Last week, the Fund Board's Educational Excellence Com-mission voted 7-1 to recommend funding up to $30,000 for an elementary Spanish program, which is currently in a pilot phase at both Strawberry Park and Soda Creek elementary schools. That recommendation hasn't been presented to the Fund Board.

Both the expansion project and the Spanish program were strongly considered for recommendation by the administrative team prior to its Jan. 9 recommendations, Superintendent Cyndy Simms said.

Ultimately, limited funds forced the administrative team, which is made up of district principals, directors and staff representatives, to not recommend those projects, Simms said.

The team met once last week and will meet again this morning to determine if it will revise its initial recommendations. The team reached consensus on its initial recommendations, and it will need to reach a consensus before revising them, Simms said.

"There's only so much money (for Fund Board allocation)," Simms said. "We're very away of the need to expand the middle school."

The administrative team is looking at what changes need to be made to its initial recommendations in order to free up room for a capital recommendation, Simms said. The elementary Spanish program is also being considered.

This year's Fund Board budget cycle represents the first time the administrative team has been asked to return for a second round of recommendations.

The Fund Board, which annually allocates revenue from the half-cent sales tax, must approve a preliminary budget by the end of March. Each of its three commissions -- the Capital Commission, Technology Commission and Educational Excellence Com-mission -- has presented its recommendations.

The Fund Board can only fund recommendations made by its commissions.

Administrative team recommendations have no official bearing on how the money is allocated. Traditionally, administrative team recommendations serve as a starting point and idea pool for the commissions.

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