News

The polls are open — no, not those polls

By PAUL BALCERAK

Staff writer

Want to help set the agenda for the Central Kitsap School District’s I-728 financial planning?

The district recently set up a poll through online poll site Zoomerang to gauge interest in the handful of impact areas covered by the funding. It’s an annual practice the district has used to stay in touch with parents and concerned community members.

Visitors to the site are asked to rank their level of concern for each impact item on a scale of “High Priority” to “Low Priority” or a simple “No opinion” vote.

I-728 was approved by Washington voters in 2000 and provides extra money for programs targeted at improving student achievement.

“Truly, the majority of these funds, right now, go to (reducing) class sizes,” said Julie Goldsmith, CKSD’s executive director of curriculum and instruction.

But the school district implements several other programs aimed at helping students get ahead and helping teachers close the “achievement gap” between white and minority students in the district. One of the most popular programs has been the notion of all-day kindergarten.

“In this sense, so far, public response has been very positive,” Goldsmith said.

All-day kindergarten currently only nets about 9 percent of CKSD’s I-728 budget, which was about $5 million for the 2007-08 school year.

Funds are expected to decrease next year, despite the fact that Washington state is increasing the amount of money allocated for I-728. Money is allocated based on the number of students per district; CKSD is in the midst of steadily decreasing enrollment.

“We’ve got increasing costs and declining resources,” Goldsmith said.

She expects to present the results of the survey to the school board on April 9.

CKSD I-728 Poll

Take the poll online at www.zoomerang.com/recipient/survey.zgi?p=WEB227BCLU59KA. The poll also can be accessed through the CKSD Web site at www.cksd.wednet.edu. Printed copies of the survey can be picked up or dropped off at the curriculum office, located at the Jenne-Wright Administrative Center on Silverdale Way.

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