East Grand school officials raise possibility of dipping into reserves to buy time | SkyHiNews.com

East Grand school officials raise possibility of dipping into reserves to buy time

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

At a recent school district meeting concerning the budget directive to cut $1.1 million, “time” is what community members asked from the district board to come up with a sustainable funding solution for schools.

The latest revision of the East Grand School District budget recommendation reflects that sentiment, taking into account a possible ballot question come November.

Such a question could be in the form of a mill levy override or a town/county sales tax increase, all “which can be used to offset the ongoing district budget shortfall,” states the latest administrative recommendation on how to approach the 2011-12 district budget.

On Jan. 18, the East Grand Board of Education gave administrators a directive to analyze the District Accountability budget subcommittee’s list of recommendations – the leading one of which suggested closing the Fraser Valley Elementary School and Grand Lake Elementary School – and come up with one of their own.

This new recommendation will be presented to the district board in upcoming meetings.

The newly released Administrative 2011-2012 Budget Recommendation allows for the district to dip into the district’s reserves by 28 percent, or $500,000, “to provide time for our community to obtain other adequate, timely, guaranteed, sustainable funding sources such as a mill levy override and/or town or county sales taxes, all which can be used to offset the district budget shortfall,” states a rough draft of the recommendation.

The second part of the draft recommendation states that if the “community demonstrates an inability to support” such a solution, the Fraser Valley Elementary School and Grand Lake Elementary School should “be closed, and students relocated, per the DAC recommendation present to the Board of Education on Jan. 18,2011. If school closures become necessary, it is recommended that the relocation take place prior to and over the 2011-12 winter break.”

The administrative recommendation goes on to say that the closure of the East Grand Middle School “would not be a recommendation made by the administration due to the impact on student programming and loss of educational opportunities as compared to the closure of (Fraser Valley Elementary) and (Grand Lake Elementary) if needed.”

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