School Board Considers Activity Cuts
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 5, 2017
Dozens of people packed the small conference room at the Park County School District 6 Board meeting last night.
While many were school staff members, most of the spectators were there to speak in support of high school and middle school activities, which are under consideration for cuts in both budget and personnel.
Students, teachers, parents and community members waited patiently through discussions of health insurance, copier bids and other board business before having an opportunity to speak on behalf of programs such as indoor track, skiing and swimming.
Prior to the public comment period, Superintendent Ray Shulte noted that the original goal with the current budget cut process was to trim around $115,000 dollars from the activities budget by cutting coaching positions, cutting back on supplies, increasing activity fees and other changes that don’t involve cutting programs. He pointed out that at this time, though, they are currently short of that target.
Of particular interest to those attending was the board’s consideration of cutting the swimming program to save the $40,000 that the school pays to the City for use of the Rec Center pool. However, Activities Director Tony Hult informed the board that there is some uncertainty what that amount pays for, as the City allows the school district to use parks and other facilities without paying additional fees.
Community member Chris Boshart pointed out that the board should not be considering eliminating that cost without identifying exactly what the $40,000 pays for.
Retiring teacher Tammy Jackson spoke on behalf of saving the indoor track program, but expressed her disappointment that she and 12 other teachers chose to take early retirement in order to save the district money so that programs and activities like this, that benefit the students, would be saved. Many other parents and students spoke in support of the track program, which keeps participants in shape during the winter months so they can be competitive with the rest of the state in the spring.