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'Least negative impact' is standard for CKSD budget cuts | Music cuts delayed for at least one year
After what has proven to be a long and sometimes uncertain struggle with finances, the Central Kitsap School District has narrowed its options for a proposed budget that they say will have the least negative impact on students.
The newest budget proposal, based upon the district superintendent’s recommendations and updated June 6, proposes to cut $783,780.
Earlier in the year shortfall projections were as much as $6.3 million, but a supplemental levy passed in February and funding from the state have helped to close the gap to the current amount.
The most recent budget proposes cutting $7,000 from "at-risk" programs , $28,000 from school libraries and $110,000 from curriculum support. The district proposed to cut $40,000 from "highly capable" programs and $20,000 from special education.
Maintenance and custodial staff and services are among classified concerns still facing cuts. Maintenance may face cuts of $30,000 and custodial will face $17,500, less than half from previously proposed cuts.
Christy Cathcart, school board member, said the district has worked diligently to not remove any positions and any staffing has largely been reduced largely through a process of attrition.
“This year we have created a budget model where we will not reduce staffing for next year,” she said. “The teachers association ratified it and we voted for it unanimously with one recusal due to a board member married to teacher.”
The dollar amount of proposed cuts to staffing and academic services is $523,780. The school district also hopes to delay $260,000 in expenditures with the two totaling $783,780.
The new budget proposal does not affect elementary class size or elementary band and orchestra. Elementary band and orchestra faced cuts of up to $195,000 in an earlier plan, but school officials have since said they would delay that consideration until next year.
David McVicker, the district's finance director, said the change hinged upon concern among many involved in the budget process.
“When we looked at that the first time it was one of the largest percentage reductions and everyone was concerned about it when they saw it,” he said
Another program spared the vivisection of prior plans is libraries, which faced cuts of up to $138,000 and are now expected to only see $28,000 in budget reductions.
The library dilemma found resolution through restructuring which involved the integration of librarians and building technology coordination, McVicker said.
Another element assisting in the financial outlook for 2013 involved the delaying of $260,000, due to teachers, until 2014.
“The staff have been working with us to try to figure out how to minimize cuts” he said.
Although the district officials have worked to avoid removal of positions and programs, McVicker said the loss of hours and consolidation of positions placed a burden on staff that could mean loss of salary or benefits and short term contracts that will not be renegotiated.
“We have been able to cushion student impact,” he said. “But it is going to be about staff.”
Although budget options have been narrowed, they are not final. Another budget presentation is scheduled for a June 20 school board meeting and a public hearing will be held during a school board meeting held Aug. 8 with final adoption of the budget by the board scheduled for Aug.22.