Summit School Board takes on looming budget crisis |

Summit School Board takes on looming budget crisis

SUMMIT COUNTY – Education funding will dominate much of today’s Summit School Board agenda, as the district struggles with declining tax revenues and the specter of November ballot measures that could slash funding even further.

The board will review and discuss the results of recent mail and phone surveys in which local voters were asked of their likelihood to support a mill levy increase for school funding. As currently proposed, the measure would cost property owners one-third the amount of an existing three-year school mill levy that expires this year.

According to Summit Schools spokeswoman Julie McCluskie, much of the discussion will likely center on which programs and priorities voters are most interested in funding. If the board decides to go ahead with a ballot measure, it must finalize the ballot language by late August.

The board will also hear a presentation on Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101, which will appear on the state ballot this November. Taken together, the three proposals would slash state revenues and impose new limits on government agencies’ abilities to borrow money.

State Rep. Christine Scanlan will discuss Senate Bill 191, which aims to create a system for teacher evaluation based on student growth.

“There has been a regrettable amount of misinformation about Senate Bill 191, ‘Great Teachers and Leaders,'” Scanlan and state Sen. Mike Johnston said in a jointly released statement. “We wrote this bill, because research confirms that the two most important school-based factors in improving student achievement are the effectiveness of the teacher and the principal.”

The bill calls on the Council on Educator Effectiveness to come up with definitions of teacher effectiveness and to develop ways to assess it, based on multiple measures of student growth, rather than just on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP).

The board is also scheduled to negotiate and vote on a contract renewal for district superintendent Millie Hamner.

The meeting begins at 1 p.m. and will take place at the Summit School District administration building next to Summit Middle School.

SDN reporter Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or

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