School board candidates for Bayfield and Durango school districts will have a chance to voice their views at forums this week hosted by the League of Women Voters of La Plata County.
The forum for Bayfield School Board candidates will be Wednesday at Bayfield Town Hall. Janie Hoover, Levi Mead, Timothy Stumpf and current board member Mike Derrickson are running for three four-year terms. Current board member Don Mooney is running uncontested for one two-year term on the board.
Deep financial cuts likely will be a major issue facing the school board in upcoming months. More cuts in state funding are likely next year, and this year, the district has about 30 students fewer than it budgeted for, which means it will receive $150,000 to $200,000 less than expected in per-pupil revenue. The new board also will be charged with creating a strategic plan that will determine the direction of Bayfields schools for the next three to five years. Another issue for several candidates was the need to increase transparency and communication within the district.
The forum for Durango School District 9-R School Board candidates will be held Thursday at Durango City Hall. Three of the four open seats will be contested. Greg Spradling and Kristy Rodri are running in District A, Carla Mulkey and Stephanie Moran are running in District B, and current board member Wendy Rice and Suzanne Carlson are running for District G. Current board member Julie Levy is running uncontested in District D.
Board members most pressing task will be to find the districts next superintendent. Another focus is the distribution of the $3.2 million the district receives annually thanks to a mill-levy increase voters approved last November for technology, teacher pay and maintaining small class sizes. Budget cuts from the state level also will be an issue in coming years, candidates said.