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South Whidbey School Board reviews 2012-2013 budget

The South Whidbey School District will have about $200,000 less revenue next year. To close the gap between its expenses and revenues, the district cut a handful of teaching positions, eliminated the transportation and maintenance supervisor position and vacated a few buildings, including Bayview School and the District Office on Camano Avenue.

At the school board’s workshop meeting July 11, Assistant Superintendent Dan Poolman presented the coming school year’s budget. Declining enrollment led to fewer dollars in state apportionment funding, which is directly tied to how many students attend the district’s schools.

“As we get smaller, that (figure) keeps getting smaller,” Poolman said. “Most of that funds salaries.”

One revenue source increased: federal school lunches, also called free and reduced lunch. The number of students who qualify and receive free or reduced school lunches has increased to about 28 percent of the district’s enrollment, as has the funding at $165,000 (about a $40,000 bump). The number of students qualifying for federal school lunches could still increase.

“It could be over 30 percent, I’m sure,” Poolman said.

Expenses for teaching will cost about $8.2 million, down about $300,000 from the previous year. The Board of Directors expense has doubled since the 2008-2009 school year, which Poolman said was because of increased legal fees and an anticipated push for a levy renewal. The general fund totals about $14.8 million.

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