Budget cuts are inevitable for Lake Stevens School DistrictDistrict looking for public comment BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR
At last week’s School Board meeting held on Wednesday, March 25, members of the school board heard a first reading of a resolution preparing for a reduced educational program and a reduction in staff.
Because of the financial deficit at the state level and a decrease in enrollment within the district, Lake Stevens School District is considering different options for reducing their 2009-2010 budget.
The state funding formula is based on the number of students enrolled in the school district, thus next year the district will receive less funding based on enrollment as well.
“Bringing this resolution up right now is important to letting our employees know what is coming up,” Rodney Mace, Lake Stevens School Board member said.
However, no decisions can be finalized until they receive the budget from the state.
“I am anticipating the budget being known when we come back from Spring Break,” Superintendent David Burgess told board members.
Like school districts all across Washington State, the Lake Stevens School District is preparing for significant budget cuts in order to develop a balanced budget for the 2009-2010 school year. Based on the Governor’s December budget, which projected a statewide deficit of $5.2 billion dollars, the district estimated a minimum $2.1 million dollar loss in revenue.
That figure is expected to rise significantly based on the recent state budget forecast that predicts a state deficit of over $9 billion dollars.
These are extraordinary times for our nation and the financial strains have arrived at our school doors as well. We look to tackle these challenges together with our community, keeping in mind that we will get through this and our children will still benefit from the excellent education that we have come to expect in Lake Stevens schools,” School Board President, Mari Taylor stated.
While final decisions on the school district’s budget for next year have not been made, Dr. Burgess assures people that they will do the best they can under the circumstance.
“We’re going to be okay, but it is going to be difficult,” he said.
The school district is asking for community input on what they feel are the best budget saving ideas.
A budget survey will be posted to the district’s webpage at www.lkstevens.wednet.edu by Friday, April 3, and the school board and superintendent would appreciate your comments.
The survey includes 16 categories and programs that may be considered for reductions and asks for your comments regarding each. The survey will be posted on the website through April 27.
The district’s website also includes a budget link on the front page that includes a variety of budget related documents, including a budget Question and Answer forum. You are encouraged to submit your questions about the district’s budget at this site and questions and answers will continue to be posted.
The second reading and possible adoption of the resolution is scheduled for the next regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday, April 22, 7:30 pm, at the district’s Educational Service Center.