School board will get update on budget cuts

The South Whidbey School Board will hear an updated list of possible budget reductions at its May 13 meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Intermediate School community room.

What isn't on the list is the layoff of 30 teachers. At last week's meeting the board agreed not to implement a reduction in force to help the district with its $850,000 shortfall.

A committee comprised of administrative and supervisory personnel compiled a list of proposed reductions based on input from teachers and support personnel. The proposals include delaying the language arts curriculum adoption, an increase in lunch fees, relocation of the Regional Learning Center from Fort Casey, elimination of out-of-state travel, hiring a nursing employee to eliminate a service contract, eliminating committee stipends and utilizing Initiative 728 funds to reduce class size.

The $850,000 cut will come out of a $15 million budget for the 2002-2003 school year. Because levy dollars are tied to the amount of state dollars coming into the district, schools will receive less money from local property owners. Further reductions in the state's education block grant program, school safety funds and a state mandated staffing cut will probably force the district to reduce its work force.

The district's final budget will not be adopted until summer.

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