Salary increase approved for Gilpin teachers

Site improvements making progress

by Patty Unruh

The Gilpin County Board of Education held its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 7, at 7:00 p.m. Brook Ramsey, Sarah Swanson, Kersten Armstrong, and Steve Boulter were present; Craig Holmes participated by telephone. Superintendent David MacKenzie and Secretary to the Board Joni Schmidt were present.

Congratulations and Celebrations

The high school baseball team won its home playoff game against Lyons 3-2 on Monday, May 6. It was the first playoff game the team has won in five years. Boulter said, “The Lyons pitcher pitched a no-hitter for six innings. We were down 0-2 in the last inning, then got the bases loaded. Someone got a hit, and there was a double walk-off.”

The “someone” was Boulter’s son Blake, who got the last hit of the game. Holmes’ son Chad got the first hit. The team will play in the semi-finals in Greeley on Friday.

$6,500 was raised at the elementary spaghetti dinner and auction on Friday, May 3.

Gilpin broke several of its school records and recorded many personal bests at the Mile High Track Meet.

Middle school student Faith Ramsey won the 800-meter race at the Platte Canyon meet with a time of 2:40, beating even all Gilpin high school records by 17 seconds.

Prom and after-prom went well. The Board praised the junior class and its sponsor, Su Henry, Booster Club, and the parents.

Holmes gave the administration a shout-out for getting the “Promises Made, Promises Kept” report into the Weekly Register-Call to inform the public of District progress.

Public Comment

Elementary teacher Kellie Bayne delivered a letter to the Board members thanking them for working out a solution to the staff’s health insurance costs. The letter stated, “The staff would like to say thank you for listening to our needs and coming up with a solution to the insurance dilemma we are facing as a district. We appreciate your willingness to find a solution that works for both the district and all staff members. In addition, we’d like to thank you for the generous raise for next year.”

Michelle Sullivan of Missouri Lakes requested information on the cost of advertising banners for the fence around the sports field.

Preliminary Budget for 2019-20

The Board approved the first reading of the proposed preliminary budget for the 2019-20 school year and the revised adopted budget for 2018-19. MacKenzie said the budget has been posted and a notice has been placed in the Weekly Register-Call. The budget will be available for public review for 30 days. Business Manager Terry Scharg will attend the Board’s May 21 meeting to take comments and answer questions. The Board will adopt the proposed preliminary budget at its June 4 meeting; a time of public comment will be open at 6:30 p.m.

The proposed budget projects general fund revenue of $6,035,781 and expenses of $6,410,781. Proposed revenue for the food service fund was $173,300, with expenses of $281,506. Grant funding of $111,332 is anticipated. The transportation fund revenue was shown as $197,179, with expenses of $398,403. Capital project expenses are projected to total $644,072, including equipment leases, property improvements, and wastewater treatment plant renovations. Transfers from the general fund to the food service, transportation, and capital project funds will be made as needed.

The revised adopted budget for 2018-19 showed general fund revenue of $5,314,995 and expenses of $6,264,995. Food service fund revenue is $173,300, with expenses of $281,506 and a transfer from the general fund of $102,010. Grant fund is $111,332. Transportation fund revenue is $197,179, with expenses of $384,152 and a transfer from the general fund of $186,973. Capital projects total $499,490 in revenue and $1,114,541 in expenses, with transfers as needed.

Salary Increases

The Board approved a 6 percent increase to the Teacher Salary Schedule “A” for teachers hired on or before June 30, 2001 and to the Teacher Salary Schedule “B” for teachers hired on or after July 1, 2001 for the 2019-2020 school year.

The Board approved a 3 percent increase to the administrator, classified, maintenance, transportation, and food service salary schedules, with amendments as presented, for the 2019-20 school year.

The Board approved a one-step increment salary increase for all employees who are able to move to the next step down in a column on their assigned salary schedule for the 2019-20 school year.

Fee Schedules-Second Reading

  The Board approved the building use fee schedule. Armstrong asked whether any change would be made in the $25 per event fee for all groups (other than District) for use of the track and field. MacKenzie said no one had asked to use it yet, but the Board realized outside groups may want to start using the new field and a schedule may need to be developed.

The Board approved the schedule of athletic/ activity/ tuition fees, deciding to raise the athletic and activity fees by $2.00 and to raise meal prices by five cents.

The Board approved a schedule of advertising and sponsorship fees. Swanson had prepared the schedule and said that if companies sign up for a multi-year commitment, they can get a discount. Organizations who donate goods and services may receive a banner in-kind.

For 2019-20, a 3’ x 6’ banner in the gym would cost $500, or $600 under the scoreboard. On the track/field, a 4’ x 8’ banner would cost $600.

Boulter asked whether marijuana advertising or casino advertising would be accepted, and Swanson said District policy indicates that an ad would have to be approved and be appropriate.

“We accept casinos as sponsors for events that support the school,” she said.

Pupil Activity Fund

The pupil activity fund had been reviewed last year and old accounts cleaned out. The fund was under review again this year. MacKenzie said a number of old accounts showing zero balances should be removed. He will review accounts showing high dollar amounts with the elementary and secondary principals. He said the accounting system that produces the fund report is old. Holmes suggested budgeting for a new system.

2018-19 and 2019-20 Funding

MacKenzie summarized Gilpin’s funding per the recent legislative session. There are two parts to the school funding formula for each school district. One part is the local property tax collected by Gilpin County and the portion that is allocated to the District. The other revenue source is from the state, Per Pupil Operating Revenue (PPOR).

For this 2018-19 school year, there are 443 students that attend the equivalent of a full day. That’s called full-time equivalent, or FTE. The state provides PPOR funds for those students. Kindergarten students were only funded at about half time, which will change to full-time equivalent in the 2019-20 funding cycle, since full-day kindergarten passed in the legislature.

Gilpin’s total projected program funding for 2019-20 (property tax plus PPOR) equals $4,439,616. This funding formula of property tax plus PPOR is different for every district. The legislature increased funding for the PPOR portion of funding for the 2019-20 school year.

For Gilpin, the increase in PPOR funding from 2018-19 to 2019-20 is $137 per student FTE, or $60,465.

There are 144 of the 178 school districts in Colorado that have less than 1,000 students enrolled and are considered rural. All of the 144 rural school districts received the small rural schools grant. The amounts vary by number of students in each district. Gilpin’s amount is $108,917.

A check presentation for Black Hawk’s Educational Enhancement Tax, which supports the school district, was made on Thursday, May 8 in the District board room. The tax has provided $7.6 million in funds over ten years.

Site Work

The Board is to get a report within 20-30 days regarding the wastewater treatment plant renovation project. They will need to pick a direction and make a recommendation to the state by June 30.

MacKenzie reported on the atrium stairs project. The two landings and the foundation for the stairs are in place. Careful measurements are being taken for the steps, which are being built off-site. The stairs should be in place on or before June 30.

The architect and structural engineer for the stadium seating project are getting close to producing a Request for Proposal that the District can put out to bid. A block company in Denver has a list of contractors from which to solicit bids. The engineer has expressed confidence that once construction starts for the 600-seat stadium, it will be done within 60 days. The press box is being worked on, including the wiring for electricity.

Homeland Security has provided the contract for the school security disbursement grant. The grant funds are provided up front, and the District has to do quarterly reports about its use.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 21, at 7:00 p.m.

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