School Board stands ground

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— Warnings from a Colorado State Board of Education member will not cause the Steamboat Springs School Board to waiver from its position opposing a Montessori charter school.

"I don't see any official reason to move from (our position)," School Board President Paul Fisher said Friday. "(The state board) has taken no action."

State board Vice Chairman Jared Polis released a statement Thursday threatening a motion to remove accreditation or "take other state action" against the district in response to its refusal to allow a Montessori charter school to open.

Polis said he would introduce such a motion at the state board's June 11 meeting if the Steamboat School Board doesn't show "an extreme display of good faith" toward negotiating a contract with the charter applicants.

Without knowing specifically what action the state board might take against the district, it's difficult to react to Polis' statement, Fisher said.

"To me, there's nothing official on the state board's decision," Fisher said. "(Polis' statement is) one opinion expressed by one board member."

The state board will go into executive session with a representative from the Colorado Attorney General's Office to explore its options against the district, Polis said Thursday.

The state board ordered the Steamboat School Board to approve the Montessori charter in an April 9 decision.

The decision marked the second time the state board has sided with the Montessori applicants, whose application was denied on two separate occasions by the Steamboat School Board.

The Steamboat School Board, citing Colorado law, passed a resolution May 19 stating the state board's order to approve the Montessori charter application is optional if the state does not provide additional funds to the district.

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