Roaring Fork School District board turns attention to next steps after mill levy override looks to pass

One-time staff bonuses proposed to provide relief until funds arrive

With nearly 70% of the vote in favor of ballot question 5B, the next steps for the Roaring Fork School District will be coordinating “the largest salary adjustment in the district’s history,” according to a staff memo issued for Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting.

The exact amount to be awarded by the mill levy override won’t be determined until enrollment numbers are finalized this month, but could add up to $7.7 million. In Wednesday’s meeting, district officials will present a timeline and next steps for funding and recommend a one-time bonus to all staff members for short-term relief before funds start flowing. The memo said salary adjustments will start appearing in paychecks in either March or April.

“We’ve never seen this kind of infusion of dollars into the school district for the sole purpose of increasing salaries and a little bit of additional funding for recruitment and retention efforts,” Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Rob Stein said in the Oct. 27 board meeting.

Data from the Yes on 5B campaign said salaries could go up an average of 10-12% across the district with the mill levy override funds.

The proposed bonuses include a $1,000 base across all full-time employees that is prorated for part-time employees. Workers must be employed by the district before Dec. 1 to be eligible. New workers starting after that date would receive $500 in their April paychecks. Substitute teachers are not eligible.

Funding for these bonuses will come from dividends from the Colorado Education Benefit Trust and Proposition EE — a 2020 tax increase on nicotine products sourcing education funding — allocation, according to the memo. It said the trust rebate sourced about $400,000 and remaining EE funds add up to $300,000.

Also on the agenda

Action items include acting on resolutions for the installation of new scoreboards at Basalt High School and a grant for a lighting project at Glenwood Springs High School’s theater. It will also act on the first reading on an update to background check policies.

The board will also hear a quarterly financial report, going over financial statements through Sept. 30.

Net revenues across the district’s funding sources increased $177,380, just over 2%, compared to the first quarter in 2021. It spent $13.4 million in the first quarter.

The board will also recognize and send off members Jen Rupert and Jennifer Scherer following the election to fill their seats. Kenny Teitler will replace Rupert in District A and Kathryn Kuhlenberg will replace Scherer in District E, based on unofficial ballot results.

Wednesday’s meeting will be held in person at the district’s Carbondale office, 400 Sopris Ave. It will begin with a work session at 4:30 p.m. for the onboarding of Kuhlenberg and Teitler, with the proper meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Those who wish to make a public comment must sign up via an online form before the beginning of the meeting.