School Board holds study session Monday

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School Board Finance Director Dale Mellor commended the North Routt Community Charter School for a financial audit the school submitted to the district. Mellor, however, expressed concern over the charter school's future financial viability given its decreasing reserves and increasing losses. Charter school director Mary Bramer said fund-raisers, private donations and grant monies should cover any deficit incurred by the school.

The School Board will vote next week whether to provide the North Routt Community Charter School with $8,000 in Referendum 3A money to go toward staff salaries. Last year, the district provided the charter school a proportional amount of the cost-of-living mill levy revenue. But Mellor recently informed the charter school it wouldn't receive such a portion this year after Chris Gdowski, a school district attorney, indicated the payment isn't required. Several School Board members, however, said the district should give a portion of that money, about $8,000, to the charter school.

Mellor also presented the School Board an updated budget for the 2003-04 school year. The budget includes a revised funded-pupil enrollment decrease of 5.5 students, resulting in a $35,530 drop in revenue. The School Board will vote on whether to approve the budget at its Monday meeting.

School Board member Tom Sharp expressed his concern that district teachers' No. 1 priority for the Collaborative Bargaining Team is the consideration and deliberation of a master agreement contract. Sharp said the subject of a master agreement potentially is an explosive, emotional issue that could become a barrier to the successful completion and implementation of the Knowledge and Skills-Based Pay system. Steamboat Springs Education Association representative Bo Yennie said teachers typically believe master agreements are a good thing and that it could make teachers more comfortable with KSBP. Yennie said the issue of a master agreement will not go away.

Monday's study session was the last School Board meeting for Sharp, whose term ends in November. Sharp will be out of the country and not in attendance at next Monday's meeting or November's study session and meeting.

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