Fund Board approves all 2nd readings |

Fund Board approves all 2nd readings

Jack Weinstein

— The Steamboat Springs Edu­cation Fund Board approved all requests for funding Wednes­day night from its Educational Excellence and Technology Ca­­pital commissions.

By approving the requests, the Fund Board will gift more than $2.2 million during the 2010-11 school year to the Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt school districts and three community groups that provide school services.

An additional $110,000 is set aside in the Fund Board's budget to pay for a grant writer and administrative costs.

The Fund Board disburses the city of Steamboat Springs' half-cent sales tax for education.

Each of the county's three school districts received less than what they had asked for in January.

The Steamboat Springs School District was gifted nearly $1.9 million in programs and salaries after requesting more than $2.3 million in January. South Routt received nearly $116,000 after requesting more than $135,000. Hayden was gifted more than $106,000 after requesting nearly $139,000.

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Although all 27 requests for funding were approved Wednesday, it was­­n't necessarily an easy process.

Fund Board members discus­sed Steamboat's planned reduction of 1.5 full-time counselors for the 2010-11 school year, including one at the elementary level that leaves Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools with one counselor for more than 800 students.

Parent Susie Makens asked whether the Fund Board would consider taking another look at the $67,500 the Educational Excellence commission had proposed on second reading to help Steamboat pay for counselors.

There was some discussion about moving funding from another district program to pay to restore counselors to existing levels, but little support for the idea.

Fund Board members eventually funded the proposed amount. But they seemed to support the idea of paying for the counseling positions, depending on how much it cost. The funding likely would have to come from the Fund Board's reserves.

Some Fund Board members were wary of using any more reserves next year because the state has indicated cuts to public school funding could continue.

Fund Board President Mark Andersen asked the Edu­ca­tional Excellence Commission to investigate how much it would cost to fund the 1.5 counselor positions in 2010-11 and get information about ongoing efforts Steamboat is pursuing to fund counselors with grants.

Steamboat Springs Super­intendent Shalee Cunningham said she would present that information at the next Educational Excellence Commission meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.

There was also some discussion about whether the funding the Educational Excellence Commission proposed for Rocky Mountain Youth Corps' Yampa Valley Science School, Partners in Routt County's school-based mentoring program and a Yampatika outdoor education program could be dedicated for Steamboat counselors.

There was almost no support for the idea.

After the meeting, Cunning­ham said she was happy with the outcome.

"I'm pleased we received $2.2 million for the three districts," she said. "It's truly a gift. We are appreciative. We can't say that enough."

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail

Fund Board gifts

Steamboat Springs School District

Technology/Capital Commission

Technology support staff — $369,530

Software and licenses — $116,070

Network and Hardware — $172,700

Library consortium and program — $23,500

Maintenance — $27,500

Student Information Systems — $25,000

Data analysis — $20,000

Online database — $18,000

Educational Excellence Commission

Small class size — $624,000

Staff professional development — $40,000

English Language Learner teachers — $159,700

Spanish teachers — $100,000

Counselors — $67,500

Gifted and talented teachers — $131,500

Total: $1,895,000

Hayden School District

Technology support staff member — $49,839

Smart board grant match — $7,404

Standardized Software license — $7,100

Computers — $15,540

Web-based reading program — $7,200

Middle school para-educator intervention specialist — $19,220

Total: $106,303

South Routt School District

Financial software — $56,800

Computers — $30,000

Reading program training for teachers — $20,130

Curriculum mapping training for teachers — $9,000

Total: $115,930

Community groups

Yampatika — Outdoor education pilot program, $4,950

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps — Yampa Valley Science School, $28,000

Partners in Routt County — School-based mentoring program, $50,000

Total: $82,950

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