Steamboat School Board business items pushed to Aug. 25 meeting

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— With the start of the school year just days away for Steamboat Springs School District students, the School Board is set to reconvene twice in August with several business items on the docket.

The board was scheduled to have its first regular board meeting since June 16 on Monday, but with three of the five members unable to be physically present, district policy states business items must be met with a quorum.

So Monday’s meeting has been switched to an informational setting, with board members Robin Crossan and Joey Andrew electronically participating via phone and Skype.

Business items have been pushed to the Aug. 25 regular meeting. District students in first through 12th grades report for the first day of class Aug. 26. Kindergartners’ first day of class is Aug. 27.

Monday’s informational meeting will be only about an hour long, Superintendent Brad Meeks said, and will feature an update from Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association Executive Director Greg Smith about the state retirement system. Paula Stephenson also will be on hand with information regarding the Amendment 23 lawsuit brought forth by a group of educators, parents and school districts as a call for the amendment to be enforced.

Items of interest on the Aug. 25 meeting are tentative, Meeks said, but likely will include an update on TCAP state testing results, which are embargoed from the public until Aug. 14.

Another business item on the board’s radar for Aug. 25 and meetings spilling into September will include a demographic report compiled by a professional hired by the district.

The demographer spent the summer at the district’s request looking at census and enrollment data as well as talking to city officials and Realtors to gauge factors behind increased K-12 enrollment in Steamboat — a situation that the district has deliberated about for well more than a year.

“We should have that report back on the demographic study that we’ve done this summer,” Meeks said. “Our growth still shows increasing enrollment.”

To address immediate enrollment concerns, the board resolved to bring in two modular units for the Soda Creek Elementary School campus. The two units — which will create four classrooms — are being shipped from Texas with the goal of being up and running for the first week of school, Meeks said.

Ground already has been entrenched for the modulars on the west side of Soda Creek.

At the Aug. 25 meeting — originally scheduled as a workshop — the board will revert back to the basics, discussing board norms with a new member breaking in.

The board voted in Sherri Sweers as its fifth member July 17, replacing former President Rebecca Williams, who resigned June 16.

The issue regarding the district’s 2015-16 school calendar — which drew input from community members back in early June — is expected to be further discussed in a September meeting to give the board ample time for analysis.

“They have a new board member coming on, and Monday’s meeting is mixed up, and we haven’t spent a whole lot of time on it during the summer,” Meeks said about the calendar issue. “We will talk a little more in August and bring it back in September.”

The district’s new strategic planning group committee also will meet Sept. 10 to 12 and will form a report by the end of the month.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

Comments

Scott Wedel 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Seems to me that the Colorado Supreme Court has largely decided this Amendment 23 lawsuit last year when they overturned the Lobato case. Basic trouble with this case and Lobato is that Colorado now has conflicting constitutional requirements. Tabor sets max tax revenues and Amendment 23 requires ever increasing spending without providing a matching tax to fund it. It was even observed as a campaign issue prior to Amendment 23 being passed.

Courts normally rule that conflicting constitutional requirements are to be solved by the legislature unless a fundamental constitutional right is being infringed. It would be hard tor a court to rule that Amendment 23 must be fully funded without also ruling how to rework the state's budget and thus eliminating the state legislature from its most important task. Lobato had a far less sweeping possible remedy of saying the state's formula was too generous for wealthy districts and thus too severely underfunded poor districts.

Also, voters have had a chance to increase taxes to fully fund Amendment 23 and it lost badly.

I think it would be more effective to try to figure out a funding mechanism that the voters would approve instead of trying to reverse electoral losses via the courts.

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