Seeking input on draft budget highlights for 2021-22

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

Dear staff, students, families and community members,

I write to update you on our budget development for 2021-22. Next year presents many uncertainties in the district’s revenue picture. Several funding streams have declined. For example, student enrollment declined, there is reduced projected transportation funding from the state and for the upcoming year, and we will see a decrease in overall revenue from the state due to the new process being used to fund schools called regionalization. The state’s legislature finished its budget work Sunday, and over the coming weeks, school districts will begin to learn more details from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) about budget implications for PreK-12 education. We are expecting some additional federal stimulus funding, which will allow the district to make some targeted investments and retain services at pre-pandemic levels.

Our biggest asset and investment are our staff and this will continue to be the main focus of our budget. Most of this investment is cost-of-living adjustments in salaries and contractual obligations; however, we are proposing some focused investments particularly in health and well-being of our students and staff that are supported by federal relief funds. Our draft budget highlights summarize our initial thinking on new spending for 2021-22. Priorities include adding a director of health services, wellness coordinator and health room assistants, expanding Project Free Education, and adding support for students who receive Special Education services. These are just a few of the priorities, and I encourage you to review all highlights.

We appreciate your feedback on this draft, allowing us to then refine and finalize our budget priorities for 2021-22.  Please take this brief survey to comment on these priorities by Thursday, May 6.

Greg Baker