by Shane Clouse
LA VETA — No one showed at the La Veta Board of Education (LVBOE) special meeting last Monday. The board scheduled the meeting to hear public comment on the proposed USDA Community Facilities Grant. Public comment is a requirement to be met prior to approval of the grant.
After acknowledging the lack of public comment, the LVBOE went into a regular meeting to receive information on two items discussed at the Colrado Association of School Boards (CASB) meeting in Fort Collins. President of the board Sam Law, went to the meeting and updated the board on the main topics covered in the meeting.
The first topic of concern covered at the statewide meeting was the possibility of a Constitutional Congress to consider whether Colorado tax law is allowing the state to meet its constitutional obligations to fund school districts adequately. A Denver University study on school district funding concluded that the state may be bankrupt by 2017. At the heart of the study are laws that keep “legislators from legislating.” There is a possibility that many tax laws, including TABOR, will go before the Supreme Court to determine their constitutionality in the next five years.
The other main topic included many facets of Colorado Educational Reform. For example, CASB is working on Child Internet Protection. At this time new policy is under review with conversations pro and con on allowing all or nothing to students. Because there is no filter big enough to protect kids and because the internet adds so much to education, some think that it is worth the risk to allow students full access.
Also discussed were Senate Bills 191, 163, and 212. SB 191 will change how the state evaluates teachers and principles. SB 191 also gives schools the freedom to use the state process or form a local policy. Superintendant Bree Lessar stated that she has been using the new process and is very pleased with it.
SB 163 attempts to redefine the process schools must go through if they are not meeting state standards. This state bill outlines practical actions to be taken when schools are involved in the improvement plan process.
SB 212 will change the Colorado Academic Standards. The state will implement standards in the following 10 areas: health, dance, drama, mathematics, music, reading, writing and communications, science, social studies, world languages. The LVBOE discussed their interest in the addition of dance as well writing and communications and world languages.
The board then heard an update from Facility Manager Gaye Davis regarding the boiler systems. The district has a contract with Trane Heating to service the heating/ventilation systems. During the fall startup inspection, Trane personnel found multiple issues. One boiler system was shut completely down due to the number and volume of propane leaks.
All rooms have been inspected and repaired as needed, all leaks have been repaired, and all electronic repairs have been made so the system is now fully operational. Because the district spent around $65,000 on propane last year, the board is hoping the repairs will help save money.
In other news, the board approved Pauline Frank and Deb Gross to the substitute teacher list.