Kim Prentice, Director of Community Relations
Like other school district administrators across the state, Clover Park School District officials are watching legislative activity in Olympia very closely and anticipate significant funding reductions for the 2011-13 biennium. Already this school year, the impact of the reduction of the K-4 class size enhancement to Clover Park School District’s FY 11 supplemental budget is $1.2 million.
The district is offsetting this reduction by using fund balance specifically designated for FY11 fiscal stability and the use of other district reserves. “We have been very conservative in our fiscal planning and are grateful to have the reserves to get us through these unexpected reductions in the current school year,” Superintendent Debbie LeBeau said.
State budget writers were waiting for the March 17 revenue forecast update to finalize the FY11 supplemental operating budget.
District officials anticipate that legislators will also accept the governor’s proposed school district general apportionment delay (from June 30 to July 1) as a budget solution.
Currently, the governor’s proposed budget for 2011-12 would mean another reduction of approximately $2 million to Clover Park School District’s budget. These reductions are being monitored closely by district administrators and will be addressed through the use of fund balance, expenditure reductions and possible program changes.
“Some of our federal funding will remain flat or decrease by as much as 20 percent and, in the case of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, entirely eliminated,” LeBeau said.
The district’s Title I and Special Education ARRA funds totaled $6.6 million over the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.
“We are carefully looking at all district resources to mitigate the impact of funding reductions from the state and federal government. Our priority is to keep budget cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. That will be tough to do given the cumulative loss of $4.3 million dollars of basic education funding from the state since the 2009-10 school year. We will account for this shortfall by using fund balance reserves, making cuts in central office administration, placing a freeze on hiring and out of state travel as well as delay any expenditures we can.”
The district will host a community budget forum on Wednesday, March 23 to discuss a review of the 2011-12 draft balanced budget. The forum will be held at 6 p.m. at Hudtloff Middle School, 8102 Phillips Road SW in Lakewood.
For more information on the 2011-12 draft budget, please call Clover Park School District’s director of finance Kristy Magyar at 253-583-5021.