Community

Wanted: budget advice

Over the past five years, cutbacks in state funding resulted in budget shortfalls of around $11 million for the Central Kitsap School District.

Future reductions are likely as the state continues to experience significant shortfalls of its own, CKSD Superintendent Greg Lynch says.

“Over the past several years, we’ve been able to make reductions in several areas, particularly administration and support, while protecting classrooms to the fullest extent,” Lynch said. “As an example, we have cut 4.4 administrative positions over the last several years. However, with the state predicting a need to cut at least $2.6 billion from its budget next year, we may be forced to make reductions in areas that have been previously untouched.”

As part of the budget process for the 2010-11 school year, CKSD has developed a survey to gather community and staff input.

The responses will help the School Board prioritize any future cuts necessary with additional funding reductions.

Also included in this survey are questions relating to Initiative 728 or state student achievement funds.

This survey, combined with the results of a telephone survey conducted this fall, and recommendations from the Community Finance Committee and Task Force Resource will be used to help develop a balanced budget.

Anyone interested in learning more about previous cuts or the budget development process before or after taking this survey, should go to www.cksd.wednet.edu/Business/Budget/Budget.htm.

The survey will be available online until Jan. 8. Community members are encouraged to visit the CKSD website at www.cksd.wednet.edu to access the survey.

The future of the district depends on the state’s budget, and current predictions show significant cuts to education funds are likely in the coming years.

Add that to the looming end of federal stimulus dollars – the “funding cliff” – and preparing for the worst case scenario becomes the logical best step.

“That’s why community input is such an essential part of our budget process,” Lynch said. “It won’t be easy, but we are committed to a fair, thorough and transparent process, and to partnering with our community as we make these difficult decisions.”

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