News

CKSD budget meeting has attendance shortfall

No one can say the Central Kitsap School District didn’t try.

Following under their recent, “fair, thorough and transparent” mantra, the district invited the public to the Jenne-Wright Administration Center Wednesday for a presentation on the current budget gap.

Maybe Tax Day had people burned out on number crunching, because the meeting only drew a baker’s dozen, most of whom were members of the press or district employees.

“I’m obviously gonna have to talk loud tonight because there are so many people here,” Superintendent Greg Lynch joked at the beginning of the meeting.

The presentation was the same one he and David McVicker, executive director of business and operations, gave to the school board at last week’s board meeting.

The district is looking to free up about $600,000 for the 2008-09 school year and a shortfall of about $4.15 million over the next four years.

District officials have blamed the shortfalls largely on declining student enrollment and a lack of funding from state and federal sources.

“We’re in a predicament because the state and the federal government are not funding public education,” Lynch said.

He added that while CKSD is not the only district dealing with a budget crisis, the district is proactively looking at ways to cut costs before classroom resources are impacted.

Last year’s closures of Tracyton and Seabeck Elementary schools saved the district $1.4 million, he said.

“We were able to take that $1.4 million, we were able to take that money and put it back into the classroom,” he said.

While that didn’t exactly spell success, the district says it could have been a lot worse.

“I think the bottom line for me is that, relatively speaking, this is a good news story for us because we remain out in front of the problems we have,” Lynch said.

The district will continue to hammer out next school year’s budget during the next few months. A community budget forum is set for May 14, a preliminary budget should be ready by June 18 and a budget hearing and final adoption will take place Aug. 13.

(BOLD) School district briefs

• The Montessori Parents Association of Jackson Park Elementary is hosting an online book fair through May 17. The fair is an offshoot of the April 17 Usborne Book Fair that took place at the Steele City Cafe in Bremerton.

People can visit the fair’s site at www.UsborneByMonica.com, click on “Enter Bookstore,” then click “Montessori Parents Association” in the upper right corner. All sales will be credited to the association.

• Central Kitsap Junior High School students were let out early Wednesday after a sewer main ruptured.

A tree root grew through a section of the sewer main, causing it to rupture and creating a rank smell outside the school, CKSD Spokesman David Beil said.

Busses started taking students home around 1 p.m. Classes resumed the next day.

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