Learn about Fund Board

Volunteers needed to sort through education fund requests


The Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board spends $2 million in taxpayers' money each year, but many community members are unaware of exactly what the 13-person group does with their money.

Members of the nonprofit Fund Board hope to change that with a community meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Centennial Hall.

The meeting will mark the second consecutive year in which the group has attempted to reach out to community members. Very few members of the public attended last year's meeting.

"What we hope to accomplish is to share with the public how the fund is operated and how our donations to the school district have improved education," Fund Board President Jim Gill said. "Our goal is to tell them what we're doing with their money. It's the taxpayers' money."

The Education Fund Board is composed mostly of volunteer community members who decide how to spend $2 million in annual revenue from a half-cent city sales tax. Revenue from the tax is for educational programs, specifically programs and projects for the Steamboat Springs School District.

Steamboat voters have approved the half-cent sales tax on three occasions, and it's likely they'll be asked to do it a fourth time in the next couple of years. The tax is scheduled to sunset in 2009.

During the past decade, sales tax revenue has been used to fund smaller class sizes, pay for performance for teachers and staff, an expansion to Steamboat Springs Middle School and a variety of other programs and projects.

"If we're not spending it the way you want us to, tell us now, not later," Gill said.

The one-hour meeting will feature a student-made video showing a variety of sales-tax-funded education programs, a brief summary of the Fund Board and what each of its three commissions have done during the past couple of years and a discussion of the different ways community members can become involved with the Fund Board.

"We'd like people to get involved," Gill said. "We're all volunteers. Come share some of the fun of picking funding requests that are proposed to us."

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com


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