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Please keep in mind that in a normal year, Partners asks and receives much less funding (about 1/3) from the EFB that the $97k they need this year. Due to some unforeseen funding cuts that Partners experienced this year, they needed to request this larger amount from the EFB to save the program. Partners needs to respond to their primary funder for this program, the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps) by March 15 as to whether they can raise the required matching funds. The EFB was the logical source.
Is it really such an outrageous request for a one time increase in funds to save such a largely valuable program that saves hundreds of students each year? I sure hope not. These mentors help students stay focused and organized by giving them the much needed attention that teachers, who are extremely busy with their core curriculum, often can not provide.
Another point to address is the $500k cut that the school district says it needs to take this year. Last year, the Education Fund Board gifted the school districts over $500 from their reserves as a ONE TIME financial gift. I would be very surprised if the school districts incorporated this additional funding into their annual budgets, knowing that the Education Fund did not have additional reserves to gift year after year. I believe that the financial leaders of our school districts are more sophisticated than that!
So, that $500K "budget cut" is really a deceiving way of presenting a case statement.
What a compliment to say that it seems that I live in a world of infinite money! It is true that my staff and I bring in over $1M of outside funding each year to our community to leverage the local funds we receive (average of $5 outside to every $1 local). And it's true that we would have a great deal of difficulty procuring those outside funds if we did not have the very generous support of our community. So while it may seem to you that we have infinite free money, indeed that money is very competitive and difficult to secure, and it is far from free! As a non-profit, we compete with hundreds of other organization to receive funding, and for every dollar, we need to have an outside evaluation firm confirm that we are meeting the outcomes and milestones that we promise our funders we will achieve, as well as keep meticulous financial records to prove we are spending the money as we said we would.
The 11 school-based mentors cost Partners over $235,000 each year to maintain. The cost to the schools (through the Education Fund Board) has averaged around $35,000 per year (that is just over $3,100 per FULL TIME mentor per year). This larger request for $97k is a one-year request. Tell me, how many full time employees can the school district hire for that amount of money?
If the school district is indeed needing to cut $500k from their budget, then wouldn't it make sense for them to maintain this extremely fantastic return-on-investment of Partners school-based mentoring than to fund less than 2 teaching positions with that $97K? That would be the fiscally responsible and efficient decision to make.
Thanks Robin. I couldn't agree more.
The School Based Mentoring program started 15 years ago. Since then, not only have hundreds of local school students received the special attention that they needed during the school day from these fantastic mentors, but a great many of these college graduates remained in our community to continue to serve our local youth. I personally know many that have gone on to become teachers, social workers, counselors, non-profit professionals, and even heath professionals. In fact, my own kids have and continue to benefit from current school based mentors, as well as alumni now serving in these other roles. These mentors are focusing on students that are not receiving the intensive services provided by schools for students that have more severe needs. They are focusing on those students that have issues that are less obvious, and that tend to fall through cracks. Without these school based mentors to help them during their school day, many of these young folks would just be getting into trouble for not attending school or classes, or not completing homework, or not being able to pay attention. The schools can not afford to replace these mentors with faculty members, the associated costs would be quadruple at least. Let's all figure out a way to keep this program alive in our community. This is the type of asset that sets Routt County apart from other communities in the mountains of Colorado.
Dipshit! I hope he has to pay personally for the damage.
Tom, thanks for a great article. I got to participate on the historic tour of the village with my third grader last year as part of a school trip, and it was very interesting, and impressive. I'm proud that our Rocky Mountain Youth Corps historic preservation crew will be able to work with Historic Routt County, and HistoriCorps on the restoration of the Hahn's Peak fire lookout this week and next. What a great opportunity to engage youth in such an important endeavor! I especially want to thank and recognize Towny for his passion and work on this and so many other important historic preservation projects, and for being the inspiration behind starting the historic preservation crew through RMYC six years ago!
Many thanks to Senator Udall for visiting our Regional Conservation Crew at Steamboat Lake State Park yesterday. What a thrill for our teen corps members! A great event to mark our 20th anniversary.
Last login: Thursday, March 10, 2016
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