Our View: Strengthening ties with Soroco schools

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Steamboat Today editorial board — June to December 2013

  • Suzanne Schlicht, COO and publisher
  • Lisa Schlichtman, editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • David Baldinger Jr., community representative
  • Lisa Brown, community representative

Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or editor@SteamboatToday.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

We applaud the Soroco School District for its continued foresight in sharing administrative functions with the Steamboat Springs School District.

We think the cost savings could create more room in school budgets to deliver improved educational programs to students. And that’s a goal we all share.

The plan approved last month by the Soroco School Board would fold most of the tasks associated with Soroco’s finance and human resource departments into Steamboat’s larger administrative team. That should save Soroco about $20,000 annually. And no one will lose a job in the process.

Soroco and Steamboat already have a very successful program to share information technology staff.

Soroco Superintendent Scott Mader saw the opportunity to build on that success after his finance director recently resigned. And Steamboat Superintendent Brad Meeks readily agreed to merge two more departments.

As part of the plan, Soroco will have a new Steamboat district employee working in the school office in Oak Creek for six hours daily, and Steamboat will be able to upgrade a part-time employee to full time. Mader expects his school district will benefit from having access to more personnel should urgent issues come up in any of those departments in the future.

Among the administrative tasks Steamboat now will perform for Soroco are managing and reconciling seven bank accounts, ensuring compliance with federal grants, overseeing bids for employee benefits, tracking employee sick leave and payroll.

Taxpayers in Routt County are fortunate to have two school district administrators who are continuously willing to collaborate on school district administration and operation. These are sensible steps for our area school districts to take in an era of constrained budgets.

Mader called the success of the technology sharing arrangement an exciting success this week. We agree and applaud the districts for looking for efficiencies that allow their districts to sharpen the focus of their financial resources most appropriately on student education.

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