In a letter to the editor (Herald, Feb. 9), former District 9-R school board member Padraig Lynch raised questions
about the financial challenges Durango School District 9-R faces with its upcoming school year budget. We are writing
to clarify inaccurate information with actual facts.
As with every school district in Colorado, 9-R's mill levy is approximately half of the mill levy assessed to a
property owner. The current 9-R mill levy is the lowest it has been in the last 10 years, and is one of the lowest in
Lynch incorrectly stated 9-R has $10 million in savings. The Colorado Constitution requires the school district to
maintain an emergency fund balance of approximately $1,125,000.
On June 30, 2009 - the end of 9-R's fiscal year - 9-R's general fund was $3,787,638, leaving $2,662,638. This amount is
less than one month's bills for the district. Finance advisers for businesses recommend two to three months of
reserves, and 9-R has less than half of that amount.
The bottom-line is this: District 9-R needs to cut approximately 8 percent - almost $2.9 million - from its budget for
the 2010-2011 fiscal year. To make these kinds of adjustments, every department in the central office and every school
in the district will be impacted.
9-R is facing a very difficult financial situation over the next several years, and we needed to set the record
straight as we head down this path together.
Laine Gibson, chief financial officer, and Keith Owen, superintendent of schools, Durango School District 9-R,Durango