Summit School District boardmembers set budget priorities |

Summit School District boardmembers set budget priorities

DILLON – At their Tuesday meeting, Summit School District boardmembers opted to unfreeze staff salaries at a cost of $384,885, one of several budget priorities they approved that will govern how interim superintendent Karen Strakbein will allocate funds for 2011-12.

About $227.5 million has been cut from the state’s K-12 education funding, which means district-level cuts statewide. But with the $2.1 million voter-approved mill levy from November, Summit School District can budget without making cuts. The district’s net reduction this year is $1.2 million (5.6 percent), compared to last year’s $1.3 million (5.9 percent). But this year, the district has the mill levy to cover the lost revenue.

In fact, officials instead have increased staff salaries and have been working to prioritize where to put a net $719,000 surplus from the mill levy. The board considered items cut from the budget in prior years as well as continuing funding for programs previously funded by grants.

Beyond unfreezing salaries, priorities approved by the board were:

• Reinstate the curriculum budget of $75,000,

• Provide for Every Day Math that was funded by a grant in the amount of $46,000,

• Commit $100,000 to technology resources,

• Funding intervention and enrichment strategies at a cost of $35,000, and

• Allocate $40,000 to the 2012 summer school at Silverthorne and Dillon Valley elementary schools.

They opted to draw the line before funding $50,000 staff development strategies, which will be absorbed into current operations at the central office, and $256,800 in professional development days for teachers.

Also at the meeting, board members:

• Recognized retirees with a dinner before the regular meeting,

• Approved revised graduation requirements on second and final reading, and

• Reviewed recommendations coming out of teacher negotiations.

– Janice Kurbjun

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