School districts to make requests to Technology/Capital Commission

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What: Technology/Capital Commission meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. today

Where: Downstairs conference room of the George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street

— More than $200,000 in Technology/Capital Com­mis­sion requests will remain on the table after money is allocated this year.

The commission will hear about $1.15 million in requests for 2010-11 Education Fund Board gifts from the Routt County school districts when it meets at 5:30 tonight.

Earlier this month, the Fund Board set a preliminary budget of $2.3 million based on projected revenue from the half-cent Steamboat Springs sales tax for education. Of that, more than $100,000 would pay for the Fund Board’s administrative costs and grant writer.

The rest was split 57 to 43 percent between the Educational Excellence and Technology/Capital commissions. That leaves Technology/Capital with about $950,000 to allocate.

Despite having less funding to work with, Technology/Capital Chairman Roger Good said the commission’s job is not different than in years past.

“The priorities haven’t changed,” he said. “There’s just not as much money to go around this year.”

Requests that benefit the most students for the longest period of time will rise to the top, Good said.

The Steamboat Springs School District requested $953,500 — more than the total the commission could allocate. Of that, more than $480,000 would pay for the district’s six-person technology department.

The Hayden School District made $91,578 in Technology/Capital requests. The South Routt School District requested $103,300. That adds up to about $1.15 million in requests with about $950,000 available.

Steamboat Springs Super­intendent Shalee Cun­ningham has said the district’s priority is Educational Excellence because those requests are for measures that directly affect students. The majority of requests from Hayden and South Routt are for Technology/Capital needs.

The districts and four community groups presented funding requests to the Educational Excellence Commission on Jan. 13.

Each commission will have two meetings in February to decide which requests it will present to the Fund Board for approval. The Fund Board will adopt its final budget in March and after that will approve and disburse the funding for the individual requests.

Good said the decrease in funding in 2010-11 may lead to better decisions.

“I know a lot of people have a lot of angst over this being a difficult budget year,” he said. “I think that’s a good thing because it forces people to really sharpen their pencils and prioritize.”

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