Budget approved for CK Schools

After a unanimous vote by Central Kitsap School District board members approving the 2007-08 school year budget last week, the sigh of relief was abbreviated as this decision was only the start of the budget-cutting process.

With no changes presented to the preliminary budget recommendations, the countless hours of emotional-laden work completed by district staff members, administrators and parents came to a rest stop. David McVicker, CKSD executive director of business and operations, briefed the board on the budget recommendations, increases and decreases in both revenue and expenditure projections and the net increase in funds available for the Federal Contingency Reserve Fund.

After the presentation of the budget, much discussion took place regarding the long range budget challenges including the continual decline in enrollment and the resulting decline in state revenue, heavy impact revenue and federal and state categorical revenue. Additional concerns discussed included were the possible loss of heavy impact status in 2009-10, the expense of cost of living allowances beyond those funded by the state, the continued support of special education, transportation and food services, an aging infrastructure, and rapidly changing technology.

“The district continues to experience significant budget challenges,” said CKSD Spokeswoman Melanie Reeder. “Projected state and federal revenue for basic education is lower due to the decline in enrollment.”

The district has reduced expenditures this year (2007-08) in several areas ... the closure of two elementary schools (Seabeck and Tracyton) and other budget reduction measures will further reduce costs,” Reeder said. “These measures will allow the district to build its financial reserves in anticipation of lower enrollment and resulting budget revenue shortfalls for the future.”

Reeder added that recreating the Federal Contingency Reserve Fund is possible because all federal impact aid revenue has been reprogrammed into the General Fund, allowing the district maximum flexibility in future budget years to address deficits caused by the decline or loss of heavy impact aid eligibility. This money also will preserve the option of transferring funds from the General Fund to the Capital Projects fund if needed at a later time.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the Jenne-Wright Administration Center.

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