Fund Board ties loose ends

Two new teachers' salaries included in budget approvals

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— The Education Fund Board approved more than $200,000 in gifts for Steamboat Springs schools at a meeting last week, taking care of lingering business before the board's July break.

Among the gifts are several technology items that initially were approved in March as part of the board's 2006-07 budget. Those items include $27,500 to provide technical training and resources to school staff and students; $27,500 to maintain computer hardware throughout the school district; and $20,000 to upgrade a data analysis system that will allow school staff to monitor student progress, instructional needs and demographics.

The Fund Board, which receives revenues from a citywide half-cent sales tax, also approved hiring two new teachers, one at Soda Creek Elementary School and Strawberry Park Elementary School. The maximum total cost for the teachers is $100,000. If approved next month by the Steamboat Springs School Board, money to pay the two teachers will come out of a $200,000 reserve in the Fund Board's budget.

"We're more than happy to take care of that," Fund Board President Robin Crossan said Wednesday. "That's the exact reason we put that reserve aside."

Funding the salaries and benefits for two new teachers is part of an ongoing effort of the Fund Board to support small class size in district schools, Crossan said.

The technology items also include $10,000 each for video production classes at Steamboat Springs High School and online educational resources for students throughout the school district, Fund Board member Jerry Kozatch said. The board also approved $15,000 to fund small grants for technology needs that arise during the upcoming school year. Last year, Kozatch said, money set aside for small grants paid for needs such as technical calculators for students in high-level math and science classes.

"These items are routine things that we always do," Kozatch said about the technology requests. "They are all things that just need to be done."

The Fund Board submits approved funding items to the School Board as gifts paid for by city taxpayers. The School Board will likely take final action on the items at its next action meeting, scheduled for Aug. 28.

-- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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