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Budget cuts overtake Re-1 agenda

By Jaye Sudar

WALSENBURG- At Re-1’s last board meeting, the budget cut draft proposal resulted in lively discussion, as it was noted that a number of points still need to be worked out.  Directors Bobian and Valerio argued for making cuts that would not affect kids.  Bobian pushed for art and the vocation education courses while Valerio pushed for cutting administration rather than programs and teachers.   One solution mentioned was an override election which would increase funding over a set period of time. The State is apparently seeing this as a viable option for school districts.

    Because the district needs to cut $300,000, the board will meet again on March 9 at 6:30 pm.  Superintendent Doyle and board members appealed to the audience and the public for suggestions.    

    Gardner School recognized Peggy Kelly as an outstanding staff member.  Gardner had 16 students go to the regional science fair, 14 of them placed, and one is going to state.  The Gardner Foundation is providing a Spanish class for students and the public starting March 1.  For information, contact the school.

    John Mall recognized Gary Vigil for being an outstanding staff member.  Doc Siders stated that the new cell phone/iphone policy is working well with few hiccups.

    Peakview had six students go to the regional science fair and two are going on to state. Peewee basketball is beginning under Paul and Robert Duran.

    The audit for the district is still not done, which has board members upset and reconsidering the logic of changing accountants last year.  They have till the end of the month to complete the paperwork.  The technology department provided information concerning costs per pupil for tech support and an overview of services provided.

    The district accepted with regret, the resignation of Patricia Martinez as principal of Peakview. After 33 years in education, 30 of which were here in Huerfano County, she decided to retire.  The district will miss her.

    Re-1 voted to participate in Lobato v. State of Colorado and help fund the lawsuit to the amount of $1 per pupil ($588).  The lawsuit aims to help equalize the way schools are funded in the district.  Two directors voted against the monetary portion of the resolution.

    Gaye Davis discussed the sports complex and the items needed for completion.  The board approved the awarding of contracts for cement work, synthetic track surfacing and the purchase of chain link fencing supplies.  Doyle is asking the public for assistance in putting up the fence, and director Jerant appealed to the newspapers to help promote community participation for building projects such as the sports complex.  Gaye also brought forth the issue of beginning historical recognition for Washington School.  As a PWA project from the Depression, the school has a possible chance for gaining historical designation.

    At the previous meeting, the idea was brought up of busing students to Gardner school from Walsenburg.  So far 10 students from Peakview have shown an interest.  This will be a first come first served opportunity.  Homeschoolers in the district might also want to consider the option of going to Gardner school.