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This week's school budget news

Committee suggests Pueblo district close schools

PUEBLO – An advisory committee is recommending the Pueblo school district close at least four schools to provide a high quality education in the face of a shrinking budget. Watch this 7NEWS report.

Boulder Valley School District restores cuts

The Boulder Valley School District’s budget for the coming school year is notable more for what it lacks in cuts than what it adds. Other area school districts are considering employee furloughs, charging bus fees or slashing the teaching staff because of continued state budget cuts. Statewide, K-12 education will take a $228 million cut. Read more in the Daily Camera.

Jeffco’s outdoor lab schools to stay open next year

Jeffco Public Schools’ sixth-graders will get another chance to experience a week at Mt. Evans and Windy Peak Outdoor Lab schools, thanks to a successful fundraising campaign. More than $625,000 has been raised to keep the historic schools open for the next school year.

“The donations, large and small, show how much our community cares about keeping this experience alive for Jeffco students,” said Kathy Weiss, president of the Outdoor Lab Foundation. “An anonymous donor has contributed $99,500 and we’ve had schools, PTAs, businesses and community members raise hundreds of dollars as well. It’s been an incredible outpouring of support for this program.”

The Outdoor Lab program, which has been providing environmental education since 1961, was suspended for the 2011-12 school year as a result of district budget reductions. However, the community had a deadline of June 15 to raise $600,000 to keep the schools open for the coming year. Approximately half of the $625,000 raised came from fundraising efforts; the remaining money is in the form of matching funds from the district. As a result of conservative spending on the part of district departments during the 2010-11 budget year, Jeffco had $1.2 million in surplus funds. Members of the Board of Education directed that $450,000 of that money be put toward the Outdoor Lab schools in matching funds.

Outdoor Lab fees for the 2011-12 school year will increase from $199 per student to $300; that additional money will help support the program.

Cherry Creek Schools deals with $15 million shortfall

GREENWOOD VILLAGE – For a couple years, the passage of mill levy increase helped keep the budget from biting as badly. But this year, Cherry Creek Schools cannot avoid the pain any longer. Watch this 9NEWS report.

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