Thursday, August 18, 2011
If you go
What: South Routt School Board meeting
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: District administrative offices, 305 S. Grant St. in Oak Creek
Steamboat Springs The South Routt School Board will vote Thursday whether to endorse a proposed state tax increase to help fund Colorado’s public schools.
If approved by voters in November, state Sen. Rollie Heath’s Initiative 25 would increase the state’s income tax rate from 4.63 to 5 percent and increase the state sales tax rate from 2.9 to 3 percent for the next five years to net an estimated $535 million a year until 2017.
More than 140,000 Colorado voters signed a petition in support of the measure that will appear on the November’s ballot as Proposition 103.
South Routt Superintendent Scott Mader supports the tax proposal, and he said Wednesday his district could use the additional funding to add staff and maintain aging facilities.
“It would mainly help us get our staffing back up after our recent budget cuts,” he said. “We’re also struggling with our infrastructure. We can only go so long without replacing things.”
Hayden School Board President Brian Hoza, Steamboat Springs School Board President Robin Crossan, the Colorado Association of School Boards and the Colorado Department of Education also have endorsed the proposal.
Hoza and Crossan said earlier this month their boards would vote whether to support the initiatives as a group sometime this fall.
In addition to the tax increase, Mader said his board will continue to discuss a proposed endowment fund for the district that would utilize private donations to offset the impacts of any future budget cuts.
Mader said the Yampa Valley Community Foundation would manage the fund.
South Routt School District learned Tuesday that it was accepted into a Colorado Department of Education pilot program for evaluating teachers and principals that stems from last year’s passage of Senate Bill 10-191. The bill requires school districts to change their evaluation systems to a state-supported model by the 2014-15 school year.
Mader said the first year of the pilot program would focus on how to base 50 percent of a principal’s evaluation on student achievement, something that’s not factored into the district’s current grading system.
South Routt is one of 15 school districts to be accepted into the program, and Mader said the school board would discuss the implications of the new program at its meeting tonight.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email ScottFranz@SteamboatToday.com