Highline School District Announces Budget Cuts
Wednesday night (May 27th), Highline Schools Superintendent John Welch announced to the Highline School Board his recommendations for budget reductions and revenue increases for 2009-10.
The district faces a net shortfall of about $6 million due to state funding reductions.
Welch said that in making his decisions, he took into consideration the input received from staff and community through budget forums held in April and comments submitted via the district website. He noted that his recommendations include nine of the top 10 cuts identified by the community at the budget forums, and no cuts to the top five items the community said it wanted to preserve.
Earlier, the district had considered a pay cut for all employees equivalent to four daysâ€™ pay. That idea has been dropped, but administrators and support staff not represented by a union will take a one-day furlough in December. Teachers will also lose one dayâ€™s pay because the legislature eliminated a state-funded staff development day. Employees represented by the Teamsters Union are not impacted by the furlough.
On the revenue side, Superintendent Welch recommended a â€œpay for playâ€ system for middle and high school athletics. Students would pay a fee for each sport they participate in, with discounts for low-income families. Welch said he hoped to work with a partner organization to develop scholarships for students who need them.
These recommendations come in addition to cuts of $2.1 million in central office, administrator, and other non-classroom positions announced in April.
Public comment on the budget proposal will be taken at the June 10th and June 24th school board meetings. The board plans to adopt its final budget on July 15th.