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Hayden board accepts Fund Board gifts

November's half-cent sales tax renewal allows sharing of revenue

Jack Weinstein

— For the first time, the Hayden School Board accepted gifts from the Education Fund Board on Wednesday night.

Until last November, funding generated from Steamboat Springs’ half-cent sales tax for education was dedicated only to city schools.

Steamboat residents voted last fall to share sales tax revenues, administered by the Fund Board, with school districts in Hayden and South Routt County.

The six gifts accepted Wednesday total more than $115,000. They will allow the Hayden School District to:

– Purchase testing software that will allow the district to monitor third- through 10th-graders in reading and math and third- through eighth-graders in science

– Fund a full-time intervention paraprofessional at the middle school to provide additional support to classroom teachers

– Purchase 200 software licenses, bringing the district total to 300

– Double the district’s Internet bandwidth and upgrade the network infrastructure at the middle school

– Fund technology support personnel

– Overhaul the elementary school’s fire system, including installation of smoke detectors and strobe lights

School Board President Brian Hoza said the gifts will pay for improvements the school district otherwise couldn’t find money for.

“We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity afforded us,” Hoza said. “This is a significant shift in the willingness for the Fund Board to allow additional districts to participate in the request process and to receive funds.

“The gifts that were awarded are very significant to the improvement of services we can provide in the Hayden School District.”

The Fund Board has distributed funding generated by Steamboat’s half-cent sales tax for the city’s schools since 1993.

When the tax was put on last November’s ballot, it included language that would allow the tax proceeds to be shared with the Hayden and South Routt school districts. Voters overwhelmingly approved the measure with 72 percent support.

“I think when (Referendums) 2A and 2B went to the voters in November, the Fund Board heard loud and clear from the community of Steamboat Springs that they wanted to share,” Fund Board member Kristi Brown said Thursday. “I’m thrilled to carry out those wishes.”

In other action, Hayden School Board members:

– Approved the hire of Ty Zabel as activities director to replace Michael Luppes. Luppes, the former superintendent who retired after the 2007-08 school year, will remain as Hayden High School’s boys basketball coach.

– Approved the 2009-10 proposed budget of more than $5 million. The board will adopt the budget in June before submitting the budget to the Colorado Department of Education by Dec. 31.

– Approved salary schedules for 2009-10 that included a step increase for teachers and a 1 percent raise.

– Approved capital expenditures in the amounts of nearly $13,000 for the new scoreboard and more than $12,100 to pay the district’s quarterly energy bill.


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