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School district might reallocate I-728 funds

As they grapple with how to trim $800,000 from the budget, members of the Central Kitsap School Board are considering reallocating Initiative 728 funds.

They also are looking for guidance from community members concerning the tough decisions ahead.

“(Public input) will drive some of the decisions we make. Should we continue as we planned last year with 728 money, or should we adjust to fill some shortfall being brought up this year?” asked CK School Board President Robert VanDenburgh.

I-728, approved in November 2000, provides funds to reduce class sizes, implement extended learning programs, train teachers, for early childhood education and to improve designated school buildings.

The I-728 money currently is slated for professional development in math and science education, and to integrate technology in the classroom, according to Gary Powell, CKSD assistant superintendent for business and operations.

But the district is reeling from a number of state budget cuts, including elimination of one of three learning improvement days, staff development days known as LIDs; elimination of traffic safety program funding; a 50 percent cut in an assistance program for first-year teachers; and funds for security personnel in secondary schools.

A portion of the class size-reduction funding for elementary schools also was trimmed. The cut in class-size funds represent an increase of one student in each classroom, or a loss of approximately six full-time teachers.

The I-728 money could go toward the LID or to save the K-4 class-size reduction, Powell said.

Speak out

The Central Kitsap School Board is seeking input on how to allocate voter-approved Initiative 728 student-achievement funds.

The money can be used to reduce class sizes, for extended learning programs, teacher training, early childhood education programs, and for improvements or additions to some school buildings.

To offer comment, visit www.cksd.wednet.edu and complete the community survey; or attend a forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at the Jenne-Wright School Administration Building, 9210 Silverdale Way.

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