The South Routt School Board still is dismayed with the Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board's resolution to spend funds only in Steamboat.
But South Routt School Board members agreed at their Thursday meeting that the best step for them is to find ways to share current resources countywide.
"For now, I think we try to get along," board member Tim Corrigan said.
Corrigan represents the district in a newly formed group that is exploring ways to share school resources throughout the county. The group also includes one member from each of the Steamboat Springs and Hayden school boards.
Corrigan said it's appropriate to give a fair shake to these new conversations. However, he said he was a little afraid that the group could end up talking about issues for a long time without taking action.
If the collaborative group does not work, the South Routt School District could consider other options. One would be to try to change the ballot language when the half-cent sales tax for education is up for renewal in a few years, Corrigan said. That way the South Routt School District might be able to benefit directly from the funds generated by the city of Steamboat Springs tax.
At the Fund Board's May meeting, members of the South Routt and Hayden school boards discussed the possibility of sharing resources and funding. At that meeting, Fund Board members said they did not plan to write checks to fund the needs of other districts.
The Fund Board then passed a resolution to keep funds within the Steamboat district at its next meeting, which was in June.
Retiring Superintendent Steve Jones, whose last day is today, reiterated his disappointment with the Fund Board's resolution. But he said he thought it was appropriate to build a positive bridge with the Steamboat Springs School District.
Board member Bill Babcock said he thinks the change in leadership on the Fund Board could work to the district's advantage. Babcock referred to the recent announcement that Jim Gill, president of the Fund Board, would not continue to serve after his term expires this month. The Fund Board might be more open to South Routt's case for sharing funds from the half-cent sales tax, Babcock said.
He said he also felt that it would be advantageous that the issue become a county-wide issue because all three school districts are discussing sharing resources.
In other business:
The South Routt School Board approved the district's 2005-06 budget.
The School Board agreed to apply, on behalf of the South Routt Early Learning Center, for a $17,000 grant to study the potential of a new preschool facility. The funds are being requested from the Department of Local Affairs and would be supplemented with $3,000 from the South Routt Early Learning Center Board.