Dinosaur Charter School gets green light from school district | CraigDailyPress.com

Dinosaur Charter School gets green light from school district

Amy Hamilton

The Moffat County Board of Education unanimously approved the application for a Dinosaur Charter School at its board meeting Thursday night.

Board members also allowed members of the Dinosaur Charter School Steering Committee an extended mid-April deadline to submit letters of intent from parents who plan to enroll their children.

Committee member Benjamin Graham said he was pleased with the district’s vote for the start-up school.

“I’m ecstatic,” he said. “This is a completely different view than we had last year. Last year we didn’t have support at all.”

Dinosaur Elementary School closed down last year because of a lack of enrollment, but the timetable was too short to get a charter school online this school year, district officials said.

School District Superintendent Pete Bergmann said his main concern with the current charter school application revolved around budget projections as they relate to fuzzy enrollment projections. Charter schools are reimbursed 95 percent of the district’s per-pupil funding. The district receives $5,511 for each student that is enrolled by an Oct. 1, deadline.

Bergmann questioned why Dinosaur parents couldn’t commit to a previously arranged March 1, 2004, date to express their interest in enrolling children.

Committee Chair Richard Blakley said that Dinosaur residents have stated a verbal interest in sending their children to the charter school, but were hesitant to do so formally before board members approved the application.

“I know that most parents in Dinosaur want to know that this line has been crossed,” Blakley said. “We need to have time to get out and tell people that we’re actually going to have a school.”

In other news board members:

  • Unanimously approved the 2003 district budget audit prepared by auditor Greg Hamilton. Hamilton said the district funds displayed “good financial health.” District funds reflect an unreserved fund balance that is more than three times its total liabilities, Hamilton said. District figures reflect a $6,470,033 total unreserved fund balance and its total liabilities are $2,126, 057.
  • Unanimously approved a lease/purchase agreement for 85 Macintosh computers. The district will pay $33,000 a year for three years on the computers. Approval of the purchase now will save the district $15,000 instead of going to the board for approval in July, Bergmann said.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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