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RE-2 receives report on fiscal management

by Bill Knowles
LA VETA — The La Veta school board offered a report of the district’s financial performance for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011 during its first regular meeting for 2012.
The report showed that the district’s assets exceeded its liabilities by about $3.7 million. However the district’s 2010/2011 assets were down about $281,000 from the 2009/2010 fiscal year.
Revenues for the district come primarily from property taxes and state equalization payments accounting for about 82.37 percent of revenue the district receives. Total revenue for the district is around $2.9 million.
On the other side of the ledger, the district’s total expenditures for 2010/2011 came to over $2.9 million with $309,148 of the expenses being offset by program-specific charges for services, grants and contributions.
The district ended the fiscal year of 2011 with $704,486 in the ending fund balance of the general fund.
The Board also heard from project manager and grantwriter Gaye Davis who is looking into a five- year grant that will fund a program called the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. The learning centers will be expected to provide students with academic enrichment opportunities as well as activities designed to complement the student’s regular academic program.
The program is designed to serve students and the families of students who primarily attend high poverty, low performing schools. High poverty is defined as a free and reduced lunch rate of 40 percent and above and low performance can be demonstrated by low achievement and low growth on Colorado reading and math content standards. The La Veta school district has been identified as an eligible site.
Priority areas for the grant competition are science, technology engineering and math or STEM. The facility must be serving high school students and can show a project based and service learning program.
Services must be offered during non-school hours or times when school is not in session. This can be before or after regular school hours, on the weekends, or during school breaks such as Christmas and spring breaks. A minimum of 12 hours of programming per week is required.
The grant amount is between $50,000 to $150,000 per year per center for a five-year program. In years one through three, the same amount will be funded with 20 percent decreases in the amount for years four and five of the program. The CDE would like to see the program move forward on its own after year five.
According to Davis the funding is a flow through of federal funds administered by the CDE.
The roof project for the high school has been completed and the project manager, Dale Strutt of WJE Associates, Inc., along with Gaye Davis were recognised by the RE-2 school board for bringing the project in on time and under budget.
The 2012/2013 school calendar was approved on a 4-0 vote with Director Annalee Hickey absent. The board also approved the hiring of Sara Dearmin for the remainder of the school year. Dearmin will fill the opening created when Beth Kelly moved out of the district in December.
On a 4-0 vote, the board approved an overnight field trip by five students involved in the gifted and talented program who will attend and participate in the Science Explorer’s Workshop at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The group, chaperoned by Ms. Oberheu and Rick Sciacca, will leave on a Thursday evening in order to attend the workshop which begins at 8 am on Friday, Jan. 13.
Also approved on a 4-0 vote was an overnight trip by the La Veta wrestling team to participate in a dual with Baca County on Friday, Jan. 13 and then a tournament in Walsh on Saturday, Jan. 14.
Nine students, all seniors who are completing the anatomy and physiology curriculum, will travel to visit the Grand Canyon and tour the Medical School at the University of New Mexico, including the cadaver lab. The trip is funded in part by the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center Foundation and Fuller Western Real Estate. The school board approved the trip on a 4-0 vote.
The next meeting of the board will be on Jan. 23 at the La Veta High School Library starting at 5:30 pm.