April 2019

A Message from Our Superintendent


April 25, 2019

Budget Update

 

Dear NKSD Community, 

It's springtime in NKSD. In a few short weeks, we will be celebrating academic milestones for our students. And while we are certainly focused on a strong finish to the current school year, we are also already planning for the 2019-2020 school year. We have been welcoming our soon-to-be Kindergarteners, we have had students register for course selections in grades 6-12, and we are planning for the important summer work that leads to a successful start in September. Spring is a very busy time for our NKSD schools as we balance present needs with planning for our future.
 
 

A critical component of our planning process is developing our budget for the 2019-2020 school year. You may recall that in February, I shared that we are facing a budget shortfall of approximately $4 million as we approach the new school year. As shared in the February update, while the legislature’s “McCleary fix” did increase state-level funding, the increase was offset because the legislature reduced our local levy authority. This means that overall, revenues are decreasing. These challenges are exacerbated by the fact that we also anticipate a decline in enrollment next year, which further reduces our revenue. 
 
 

As we contemplated ways to address this $4 million shortfall, we undertook a comprehensive, fine-grain analysis of staffing and our school schedules to ensure we could balance reductions and adjustments while meeting student needs and upholding contractual agreements. We carefully and thoroughly reviewed expenditures across all parts of our system. Throughout all of this work, we maintained a steadfast focus on continuing to deliver quality instruction to our students and retaining as many options and choices for educational programming as possible.  

We also held a community forum in early April for community members to share their thoughts and input regarding budget priorities and possible areas for adjustment or reduction. The following week, our community-based Financial Advisory Committee met to discuss and provide input regarding proposed adjustments and reductions. Last night, at the regularly scheduled school board meeting, we discussed staffing and enrollment for 2019-2020, as well as identifying reductions to address the shortfall 

During the April 25 meeting, we talked about how school district budgeting works, we outlined the budgetary challenges we face, we discussed the current legislative uncertainties that are making our work more complicated, and we proposed possible reductions and adjustments. At this same meeting, the school board authorized us to reduce force if/as necessary to ensure our budget is in line with our anticipated revenues. Our meeting videos are posted approximately one week after meetings, and I encourage you to watch the video from the meeting so that you are informed about the work. 

At this point in time, we have identified the following areas for reduction and/or adjustment: 

  • District and building leadership/administration - 2 full time positions
  • Student Support Center (district office) support staff - 2 full time positions
  • Close centralized copy service center
  • Transportation efficiencies
  • Position control and staffing to need and ratio (more careful analysis of classes to ensure we are maximizing staff while respecting class size limits and meeting student need)
  • Budget freeze/slowdown and hiring slowdown starting immediately
  • Reducing curriculum budget in 2019-2020

 

TOTAL REDUCTIONS IDENTIFIED TO DATE: $3 MILLION 

You may have noticed that we only identified $3 million in reductions instead of identifying $4 
million in reductions. The situation is complicated, mostly because legislative action could either make the shortfall worse or it might affect us positively. This makes it difficult to take further action or make additional decisions until we have more information. That said, n
ext steps in our budget process include:

  • Continuing to monitor legislative activity that directly impacts revenues for 2019 - 2020 and plan accordingly as information comes in.
  • Continuing to work with principals and faculty/staff to finalize student schedules for the coming school year and ensure we are doing our best to meet student needs and interests.
  • Continuing to listen to staff, students, and community regarding questions and concerns about the budget.
  • Continuing to update the school board and public as information becomes available regarding impacts to our 2019-2020 budget.
  • If/as needed, identify additional adjustments or reductions to ensure we operate within our anticipated revenues.
  • At this point in time, we anticipate holding a public budget hearing and coming to the board with a recommendation for budget adoption in late June. *This is contingent on whether the legislature adjourns on time.  If the legislature has an extended session, a budget hearing and budget adoption will take place later in the summer. 

This work is difficult work and it is important work. The school board and I continue to monitor legislative activity, and as mentioned above, I will update you regarding program adjustments or reductions as we approach 2019-2020. I remain grateful for the support of our community during this challenging season, and my door is open to you if you have questions or need more information.

In partnership,

Dr. Laurynn Evans

Superintendent

North Kitsap School District 

levans@nkschools.org

 

 

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