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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Red Rock, I ran the numbers

I ran the numbers that were provided by Red Rocks Academy in the Berthoud Surveyor on the proposed charter school. As Red Rocks freely admits, the “money follows the student.” I have attached the spreadsheet of that money so that you can see the impact.

Now, if a school has already been built, as have all the Berthoud schools, then there are fixed costs associated with their operation that must be covered. Fixed costs are just that: fixed. If there are no children in the school, they are the same as if the school is at or over capacity. If the funds in the spreadsheet are removed from the operating budgets of the schools, then that money cannot be taken out of the fixed costs. It will have to be taken out of variable costs. What are variable costs? The ones that directly impact your child and mine: supplies, teachers, etc. When I look at this data, I do not like the picture it paints.

One interesting note is that the spreadsheet numbers are the highest amongst the parents who do not already have children in the school system–kindergarden. People who already have their children in Berthoud schools seem very inclined to stay. I submit that they are staying because they are happy. I think that anyone who has had a child in 5th or 8th grade knows why the numbers would bump a little there….. The ones who think that their leaving will not make a difference need to look at the spreadsheet

I also went to Red Rocks website. It states that “community support is critical”. I do not think that the community is behind this project. And if the community is not, then I believe that Red Rocks should pursue its mission to provide “choice” in Campion or Loveland. I suspect, however, that there is little interest in that

I am also concerned as to why the two major sponsors are individuals who do not have children within the school system. I would like to hear that addressed in tonight’s meeting. What is the reason they are wanting this school

I will be the first to admit that Berthoud schools are not fulfilling every need. I will further admit that Thompson Schools do not fulfill every need. If the RR Academy were to focus on an environmental education to prepare young adults for the missions of CSU, CU and Mines, I’d say, “go for it.” If there was a proposal to provide a high tech vocational high school to provide a future work force for the Loveland ACE project (amongst others), I’d consider that, too. But this is not what Red Rocks is offering.

I believe that a high quality education is the right of every citizen. I also believe that a high quality education is not handed down. It is created by a partnership of parents, teachers, staff and community with that common goal. Everyone needs to do their part. Make a difference. Be the difference. Get involved–don’t get out. Volunteer!

Beth Conrey


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