Budget Outlook for 2010-11
As the Washington State Legislature continues to grapple with a $2.8 billion budget deficit, our school district is bracing for a third consecutive year of budget cuts. None of these cuts are easy and all will impact our services to students.
We are anticipating reductions of $2.0 - $3.3 million from our general fund budget for the 2010/11 school year caused by further cuts in state funding. An additional $1.5 to $2.0 million in budget reductions for the following year are also expected, due to state-mandated doubling of the pension contributions for local school districts and the end of federal stimulus funding.
Budget Input Process
More than 325 parents, employees and community members participated in a series of Community Budget Workshops held on March 23, 24 and 25. In addition to learning more about the financial challenges facing our district, participants were asked to provide responses to a proposed list of 28 programs and services being considered for reduction or elimination. The documents used during these workshops are posted below. The results of the responses collected from the budget input process are posted below.
The Central Valley School District Board of Directors will use the collective input of our community as they make difficult budget reduction decisions for the upcoming several school years. The Board is expected to adopt their 2010/11 Budget Reduction Plan on May 10, 2010.
On November 19, 2009, Governor Gregoire announced a projected $2.6 billion state budget deficit for the current biennium (2009/11). Although the national economy is turning around, the state expects slow recovery caused by sluggish consumer spending and unemployment rates expected to rise above 9.1 percent. The state is not expected to reduce funding for K-12 education during the current school year.
Update on Basic Education Funding Legislation: Nov. 23 presentation by OSPI to CVSD School Board (pdf)
The Washington State Constitution identifies "basic education" of children as a "paramount duty." This means basic education funding is protected from reductions by the Legislature in difficult economic times. However, there are several sources of K-12 education funding which are not considered "basic education" by state definition and are therefore vulnerable to reductions or elimination, as listed below.
Update: January 12, 2010
Governor Gregoire released her proposed "Book 2" 2010 supplemental operating budget today. The budget restores levy equalization funds for public schools as well as funding for early childhood education (ECEAP), highly capable programs and all-day kindergarten. The Governor did not restore funding for I-728 Student Achievement or K-4 Staffing Ratio Enhancements.
The Governor's Book 2 Budget would result in a net, estimated shortfall of $2.3 million to our district for the 2010/11 school year.
The Governor pledged to work with the legislature to secure the additional revenues needed to restore the programs that a no-new-revenue budget could not accommodate as the state works to address the $2.6 billion deficit. Governor Gregoire expects Washington State to receive additional federal resources including Fiscal Stabilization Funds, although the amounts and details are not yet known.
Members of the Senate and House of Representatives are working to assemble budget proposals which are expected to released later in February.
Update: December 9, 2009
Today, Governor Gregoire released her proposed 2010 supplemental budget to fill the $2.6 billion hole in the current 2009/11 budget through eliminations, reductions or suspensions of a variety of programs. The proposal includes cuts to nearly everything in K-12 education which can be cut.
Statewide, these K-12 reductions total $500 million with an estimated $8.3 million for Central Valley School District (see list below). However, with the support of Central Valley voters, the impact of the Governor's budget translates to an estimated $3.4 million shortfall for our district in 2010/11. This is because our voters approved the three-year School Programs and Operations Levy at dollar amounts which assumed no levy equalization assistance from the state.
It is important to note that the Governor's proposed budget serves as a starting point for state officials to address the $2.6 billion budget deficit. When the Legislature convenes in January, House and Senate members will also be preparing budget proposals for consideration. A final 2010 supplemental budget is expected by the close of the session on March 11.
Impacts to Central Valley School District
In Central Valley, preliminary work is underway to understand the magnitude of the impacts of the state's widening revenue gap on the district and identify a series of steps that will build on the results of last year's budgeting process. Central Valley continues its commitment to an open and transparent process involving all stakeholders. The following funding areas are considered non-basic education programs and have been targeted for complete elimination the Governor's proposed 2010 supplemental budget released on December 9, 2009.
K-4 Staffing Ratio Enhancement
Central Valley School District will receive $1,716,722 for K-4 staffing ratio enhancements and corresponding non-employee related costs (NERCS) for 2009/10. This revenue is currently used to fund 21.35 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff positions. It is funding provided by the state to school districts that is necessary to maintain lower class sizes in grades K-4.
I-728 Student Achievement
Central Valley School District will receive $1,564,142 in I-728 funding for 2009/10. This revenue is currently used to fund 20.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) certificated teaching positions, reducing class size and providing additional learning support services to elementary, middle and high school students. The state began providing I-728 funding in response to a popular statewide voter initiative passed in 2000. This program is currently funded through federal stimulus stabilization dollars.
Central Valley School District will receive $111,464 to fund programs for highly capable students in 2009/10. The district uses this funding for the elementary Able Learner Program and augments state funding with $47,800 in local levy dollars. The Able Learner program serves more than 200 elementary students in grades 2-5. These gifted and talented students are identified and pulled out for specialized services and activities to develop their capabilities to the fullest extent.
Levy Equalization Assistance (LEA)
Central Valley School District will receive $4,713,313 in levy equalization funding for 2010 which represents about four percent of the annual operating budget. Levy equalization is funding from the state to reduce the total tax burden on property owners within school districts that have a lower average assessed property valuation than the statewide average. Levy equalization reduces the amount collected in local property taxes. It is not additional revenue for school districts.
Given the sobering financial news from Olympia and the potential loss of levy equalization funding, Central Valley voters in February 2009 approved the district’s three-year School Programs and Operations Replacement Levy at a funding level which assumed no state levy equalization relief for local taxpayers. State levy equalization funding was later spared by the Legislature in the biennial budget (2009-2011) resulting in a corresponding “rollback” to Central Valley taxpayers of $4.47 million, lowering tax rates for 2010. Looking ahead, the Legislature is again considering the elimination of levy equalization funding for 2011, which would result in an increase of the total local tax rate by an estimated 70˘ per $1,000. An additional one-time shortfall of $900,000 in 2010/11 would result from the elimination of levy equalization due to the difference in timing of revenue collections, exacerbating the situation.
Learning Improvement Day (LID)
Central Valley School District will receive $193,588 to fund one professional development day for teachers for 2009/10. Learning Improvement Days are used by teachers to improve their craft. In 1999, the state began funding three (3) learning improvement days for teachers. This was cut to two (2) days in 2002 and to one (1) day in 2009 to help balance the state budget.