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School board finalizes budget cut priorities

"The Central Kitsap School Board established its budget-cut priorities for the 2000-2001 school year Wednesday.The 15-point plan will take $422,280 out of the school district budget and cuts everything from salaries and benefits to Medicaid outreach programs. The cuts were proposed at the May 10 board meeting, giving staff and parents time to respond to the cuts.After reviewing the input, only one of the cuts proposed by district staff was reshuffled. The board juggled funds between student activities and Medicaid outreach programs to place a higher priority on saving student activities.The school district might get some help from the federal government if Congress passes and the president signs the currently proposed defense appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2001. The $288.6 million dollar bill includes $35 million for Impact Aid to Education, for which the Central Kitsap School District qualifies.Central Kitsap has received such aid in the past. In order to qualify for the aid, at least 20 percent of a district's students must be dependents of military personnel. Fifty-two percent of Central Kitsap students are dependents of military personnel.Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Gary Powell said the school district has received about $600,000 in most years, but he is expecting a little more this year since more is allotted for heavy impact funding in the defense budget. Powell also said at the board meeting that the district hopes to have its budget finalized by July 19."

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