D51 to host additional community budget forum

School District 51 will sponsor a fourth community budget forum from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Monday at Mount Garfield Middle School.

The district originally planned to have three community budget forums in February but decided to add a fourth session because the forums were so well-attended. District leaders also wanted to sponsor a forum closer to the east end of the Grand Valley, according to District 51 spokeswoman Christy McGee.

“We’re getting enough feedback that people are still interested and we have the time and the availability, so we wanted to offer another meeting,” McGee said.

The forum will happen earlier in the day than the first three sessions to accommodate people who found it hard to attend the 6 p.m. sessions, which ran until after 8 p.m. on two occasions.

The additional forum will follow the same format as the first three, with time available for audience members to offer written and spoken comments and answer poll questions.

The poll questions will be the same as those asked at the first three forums and focus on the same topics: potential budget cuts or additional fees for athletics, extra-curricular activities or school bus transportation, a possible switch to a four-day school week, and the possibility of closing a school or schools.

Poll results and comments will be collected by a District 51 budget development committee that consists of community members and advocates for school employees.

The committee will make budget-cutting suggestions to the District 51 School Board in April.

The committee also will take into consideration results of an online community budget survey that will be available on the district’s website through March 30, as well as comments made by District 51 at two employee-specific budget forums scheduled March 29 and April 4.


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