Highline Schools Announces Budget Cuts For Next Year; Forums Scheduled
Highline Public Schools announced Thursday (April 1) that it will be cutting its budget by a projected $4.5 million for the 2010-11 school year due to a second consecutive year of declining state revenues.
The district has already cut $10 million from programs and operations over the past two years, including an $8 million reduction to the current year budget (see our previous coverage here).
The state legislature is still in session working on a plan to fill the budget gap for next fiscal year, and until lawmakers adjourn, the precise impact to Highlineâ€™s 2010-11 budget will not be known. However, based on the latest information available, the district says that “it looks like Highline will have to cut more than $4.5 million in programs, services, and staff.”
Over the past several weeks, the school board and school district leaders have developed funding priorities that will help staff identify areas to cut and areas to preserve. The school board has identified three guiding principles:
- Support bold and innovative action to improve student achievement;
- Align district initiatives with new federal mandates and guidelines while maintaining the district vision of college and career readiness for all students;
- Ensure that equity drives practices and policies, leading to increased achievement for students from all backgrounds.
Superintendent John Welch is compiling a list of potential cuts with the help of principals and other administrators. As he did last year, the superintendent will name a number of administrative cuts in an effort to reduce the impact on teachers and students in the classroom.
Parents, community members, and students will have an opportunity to prioritize additional budget cuts at two community budget forums. The forums are scheduled for:
- Saturday, May 1: 9:00 a.m. Hazel Valley Elementary School
- Tuesday, May 4: 6:00 p.m. Mount Rainier High School
In addition, budget cut options will be posted on the district website, and the public will be invited to give their input online at www.hsd401.org.
The superintendent will present a budget recommendation to the school board at its May 26 meeting.
A public hearing will be held June 23, and final adoption by the school board is scheduled for August 11.