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247 total votes
The sharing of the 1/2 cent sales tax revenues with Hayden and South Routt Schools would finally recognize how much these communitiies are impacted by tourism within the county. Like Robin Hood, PLEASE share the wealth! These communities are in need of new computers, a regulation size high school track, a middle school gym,many building improvements, and first and foremost; quality teachers with quality salaries! Every time a district funds these "extras" it takes away from teacher salaries, aides, and the core educational components. In Steamboat the "extras" lately have been a new playground at the Strawberry Park Elementary School and an artificial turf high school football field. PLEASE! Ask yourself, are these priorities in education? Show that your priorities are truly with the kids' edication in this community. The community includes these towns as well and the need is only increasing as we wait.
I agree that the sales tax should be shared. But you fail to understand some of the previous funding (what you call "extras") and you contradict these so called "extras" with some of your funding requests. First, the artificial turf at the high school has benefited the education of kids: Prior to the turf, several kids involved in outdoor sports had to travel outside of Steamboat to practice and participate in sports. Often times missing valuable school hours. Second, the playgrounds built at both Strawberry Park and Soda Creek Elementary will benefit all kids: No longer will kids with disabilities be left on the sideline merely watching their peers playing. Play and social interaction are very important for a kids healthy development. Why would we want to single out any group from being able to play with peers and developing physically, socially, and emotionally skills.
Your contradiction to funding the so called "extras" is your request for a new gym and track. These two requests are sport and activity related as with those you oppose above.
I hope the other communities get their requests from tracks to computers. And I would never feel that they are "extras". And Yes, all these priorities (or so called "extras") are truly with the kids' education in mind.
I overlooked a few grammatical errors in my response... Must Have Coffee!
Thanks for the feedback from "untamed Shrewd"! My fingers got ahead of me in a couple of places as well. Anyway, it sounds like we are in agreement on several issues, especially the one being asked now "Should Hayden and South Routt receive benefits from this tax renewal now rather than later?" It appears that the majority of Steamboat residents can see the benefit of county wide funding for education.
My previous comments only reflected some of the needs within Hayden and SOROCO and do not contradict the other "extra" needs noted. If and when these communities have to invest in the other "extras", this takes away from the core components of education in our community. SOROCO recently replaced a boiler system (which is a necessity) and this impacted funding for their core educational components.
I agree that the addition of fields, gyms, etc. are necessary for education, but when placed on a hierarchy pyramid they would probably fall somewhere towards the middle, not the base. Hayden and South Routt have done a great job operating at the base level for many years now. I feel that the sooner they could receive additional educational funding the better it would be for our community as a whole.
Thankfully, overall our community leaders and boards have been conservative in their approach to spending and are able to maintain the core necessities. It would just be nice to expand on these core necessities, rather than watching other communities expand on the "extras" found higher up on the pyramid. I would really like for the three communities to sit down and compare their Capital Improvement Plan projects. I think this would benefit tremendously!
Also, I want to clarify a couple of facts below:
1. The Hayden Union High School was originally built in 1921. This building is no longer standing. It was replaced in 1960 with an adjacent gymnasium Quonset hut. The gymnasium no longer exists. The middle school was originally built as an elementary school in 1948. The Hayden Valley Elementary School was built in 1979 along with the playground equipment (not ADA accessible either). This makes our newest facility and playground equipment almost 30 years old now.
I'd love to see the history on Steamboat and South Routt building and equipment if you know them.
2. The three districts share the use of one grant writer.
On a side note, I would like to suggest to the Education Board, who is the overall committee deciding these issues, to evaluate a fair and equitable percentage for each district and begin implementation as soon as possible.
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