Colorado school boards plan to hold their annual convention at the luxury Broadmoor Hotel this weekend, but a school
board member from Durango is boycotting the meeting, saying it's a waste of money.
The three-day meeting in Colorado Springs comes as districts across the state are planning to cut millions from their
budgets because of the recession.
The Colorado Association of School Boards says speakers and workshops will help attendees learn how to deal with
difficult times. One of the sessions will focus on cutting budgets.
About 1,000 people from 152 districts are expected to attend.
Durango School District 9-R is paying for six of seven board members to attend, along with Superintendent Keith Owen
and Executive Assistant Kristy Rodri.
Board member Padraig Paddy" Lynch has refused to attend, saying the CASB conference is a waste of money.
I just feel like the money could be spent on better things," Lynch said Thursday.
Most of the information presented at CASB is available online or by reading the speakers' widely available
publications, he said.
I've already read the speakers who are up there," he said.
Board Vice President Jeff Schell disagreed, saying the convention gives you some real insight into the direction
education is going in the state."
Schell said he often gets to talk with Colorado Department of Education officials and fellow board members at the
It really helps build the board team," Schell said. It's invaluable."
District 9-R board members have another reason to attend: Board President Floyd Patterson will be elected to CASB's
board during the convention.
The 9-R board also will hold a work session today in Colorado Springs to review board policies.
District 9-R will spend about $8,000 for travel, lodging and conference registration, Owen said.
Owen said the convention helps new board members - 9-R has three - understand their roles.
There's a significant value that many of these boards feel that they get at this conference," he said.
Most Southwest Colorado school boards attend the conference each year. Bayfield is sending a similar delegation as
9-R, including four of five board members, Superintendent Dean Hill and executive secretary Linda Kole.
Hill said it is important to attend the conference precisely because of the tight budget situation.
Preparation ahead for those issues is going to be critical," he said.
Ignacio School District is sending three board members, executive secretary Janet Reinhardt and Superintendent Juvie
I think it's the best conference I go to," Jones said. It's aimed at the school board members and at the
Convention goers pay $330 if attending all three days and can get discounted rooms at the five-star Broadmoor, ranging from $150 to $238. Those staying for all three days can expect to spend about $1,000 on registration, meals
The Associated Press contributed to this report.