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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Falcon School District 49 Board August Meeting

The Falcon School District 49 monthly board meeting was held Aug. 11, with approximately 45 people in attendance. Superintendent Steven Hull presented the board with a list of responsibilities and duties for the eight central district positions, including his own and the unfilled community relations coordinator.Hull did not have enrollment figures for the new school year but assured the board he would have them for a special offsite meeting on Sept. 13. Hull also reported to the board that the ongoing negotiations with local developers were continuing in an atmosphere of cooperation. However, no agreement has been reached.The principal of Evans Elementary gave a presentation on her school and the success of programs implemented during the last two years. CSAP scores increased significantly in reading and math proficiency.Henry Reitwiesner, the director of auxiliary services and construction management, reported that all modular classrooms were up and running by the school start date.An open forum began with John Vander Meulen, who identified himself as the chairman of the new Republican Club of Falcon. Vander Meulen spoke on the proposed mill-levy increase, which may go to a public vote in November. “We do understand the challenges of growth but must respectfully disagree with the mill levy approach,” he said. “It is a huge bill for the voters, and a bond issue is a much more responsible way to build schools.”Larry Stanley, a declared candidate for the school board, agreed with Vander Muelen and added that a mill levy will not be successful. Stanley also challenged the district to cut operational expenses. “I know it can be done, and I would be happy to show you how,” Stanley said.Hull responded to Stanley by inviting him to come to the central office and go through the budget with him. Stanley agreed. Board President Paul Bryant stated that the district is falling behind about $15 million a year in bonding capacity – a situation the board has wrested with for more than three years. “This decision has been extremely difficult for us, and we have looked at every possibility,” Bryant said.Also announced was the retirement of Rocky Lanotte, effective Aug. 13, 2005. Claudia Gatti will take over Lanotte’s position as executive secretary effective Aug. 15.A special board of education meeting will be held on Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the central office boardroom on Woodmen Road. At this time, the board will vote on taking the mill levy proposal to the voters.

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