As Durango School District 9-R moves to separate from the San Juan Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the details on what the impact would be on the cooperative are emerging.
The most significant is that the equivalent of 14 to 16 full-time positions would be eliminated.
Most of those are people are dedicated to working within 9-R, and the district would hope to hire many of them, 9-R Superintendent Dan Snowberger said in June.
“That depends on lots of things,” BOCES Business Services Director Paula Sublett said after the BOCES board meeting Wednesday evening. “They may open it up and tell them they’re welcome to apply, which doesn’t mean they’ll get the job. Our two highest paid staff dedicated to 9-R are a psychologist and an OT (occupational therapist), and I don’t know if 9-R will match those salaries and benefits. Some people may accept lower pay because they’re so dedicated to their kids, but others may not be able to.”
San Juan BOCES provides services including special education, speech, occupational and physical therapy, early childhood, gifted and talented, social work, professional development and psychology to its eight member districts – Durango, Ignacio, Bayfield, Mancos, Archuleta, San Juan and Dolores (Dove Creek) counties, Dolores and Montezuma-Cortez. About 87 percent of BOCES’ budget goes for services to students with special needs.
The employment situation would be most complicated for employees who split their time, for example working 40 percent of the time for 9-R and 60 percent for the other eight districts in the cooperative.
The impact to the other districts would not be significant, BOCES Executive Director Adrea Bogle said. The Cortez-Montezuma district would be the hardest hit, paying an additional $4,400, about 2 percent of its 2016-2017 budgeted commitment, while Silverton’s contribution would go down about $1,800, about 16 percent.
While 9-R’s request for separation to the Colorado Department of Education is technically complete, the state has asked for more information, which is due by Oct. 1.
“The 60 days allowed for consideration starts then,” said Jeremy Meyer, a spokesman for the CDE. If approved, the separation would begin July 1, 2017, at the start of both organizations’ fiscal year.