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Gilpin County School Board budget for 2021/2022

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Approved in school year’s final meeting

By Curt Halsted

The final school board meeting for the 2020/2021 school year the board was started a half hour early with a budget work session designed to provide time for the public to ask questions about the 2021/2022 budgets. Gilpin County School Business Manager Terry Scharg presided to answer questions. Discussion covered how budgets were created and how they will change in the coming school year. One notable change is the substitute budget is projected to be in line with the pre pandemic part of the 2019/2020 school year. This year’s sub budget increased more than three times due to the pandemic. During the pandemic some teachers with health concerns were not able to teach in person. Subs were hired to staff the classrooms, while the teachers taught online. Superintendent Dr. David MacKenzie (Dr. Dave) pointed out that much of that extra cost was paid through the CARES stimulus ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funding. During the official meeting the board approved the many parts of the budget without discussion. Scharg’s shrewd budgeting and well researched projections have saved the school out of more than one tight spot. The board thanked her for her hard work.

The board celebrated the wrap up of the sports season. Board president Steve Boulter shared that baseball finished with an improved season and Track and Field had one meet left. He shared that there should be some state qualifiers from the season. Boulter applauded the upgraded track facilities, while remembering the days when students used to practice running hurdles in the hallways, and Gilpin was unable to host home track meets. Later in the meeting he pointed out the relationship between athletics and academics at Gilpin. He used graduating senior Stephen King as an example, who will be attending the School of Mines and potentially receiving a scholarship in track. Dr. Dave celebrated the culmination of seven years of capital improvement and safety projects at the school with the board passing a resolution to fund the bleacher, seats and press box construction. Other improvements that were mentioned included the paved parking lot with better safety access lanes, the elementary playground, and safety windows throughout the school. Dr. Dave pointed out that with 20% of Gilpin’s enrollment being out of districts, the goal of these improvements is to continue to attract students to the school.

To end a difficult but productive school year, the meeting was adjourned at 7:33 pm with plans for the next meeting to be on August 17th. Considering all the volunteer time and hard work from the board, they ended the meeting with a sigh of relief and a well-deserved break.

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