"Schools to get new books, computers"
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:11 AM
"Central Kitsap schools will get new textbooks, computers and roofs next year, thanks to the federal government.Central Kitsap School District officials told the school board Wednesday how they hope to spend the estimated $5-6.5 million in heavy impact funding the district expects to get from the federal government. As has been the case in each of the three years the district received heavy impact funds, the bulk of the cash will be spent on facilities renovation.Congress and the federal Department of Education allocate the funds to school districts whose student bodies include high percentages of military children. The CKSD is one of just 27 districts in the nation to receive the funds.District officials told the school board of plans to spend 60 percent of the impact funds on facilities renovation, 27.7 percent on technology, 10.3 percent on textbooks and 2 percent on operations equipment.The district doesn't know exactly how large a check it will get from the feds, and won't until Congress passes an appropriations bill. Officials don't expect to receive the money until March, but the percentages discussed Wednesday figure to hold, according to CKSD assistant superintendent Gary Powell.The technology funds likely will be used, among other things, to purchase some 800 computers, mostly to replace aging models used by students. The operations equipment will be used to buy such utilitarian items as ovens, hand tools and vacuum cleaners, according to director of operations Dirk Gleysteen.Meanwhile, the district plans to use more of its impact funds on textbooks than in past years.We felt like we were at a point in textbook purchasing where we needed to catch up a little bit, Powell said.Most of the money, however, is to be spent on facilities. Gleysteen said the district has $6.5 million in projects pending, and that the school district put some of last year's impact funds in the bank to use on a renovation spree in 2001.Among the items on the list for next summer are nearly $4 million in roof work at Central Kitsap High School and CK Junior High, concrete work at Clear Creek and Jackson Park elementaries and replacing telephone systems at CKJH, CKHS and the Jenne-Wright Administration Building.The heavy impact funds, unlike other state and federal education monies, come to the district with no strings attached, according to school district spokesperson Jeanie Schulze. Decisions on how to spend the money are left up to school districts. But in CK, the money traditionally has been spent to update facilities.There are significant unmet needs, Gleysteen said. We've got a backlog of millions of dollars in facilities work that we need to do.The board took no formal action to approve spending the impact funds Wednesday. That won't happen until architectural and construction contracts have to be signed and approved by the board.The purpose of the presentation at last week's meeting was only to update the board on current plans to spend the money. "