About a dozen members of the public, mostly school district employees and teachers, on Tuesday attended the first of two public input meetings discussing the Edmonds School District budget proposal for 2016-2017.
The district requires a budget reduction of about $2.9 million, now that the state has signed a budget. Earlier in the year, the district was bracing for even larger cuts as it awaited a state budget.
The reductions are mostly due to increases in costs from things like cost of living adjustments for teachers and staff members, adding day health room assistants and increased utility costs. Other smaller costs include increasing translation services and professional growth.
The full plus-minus sheet can be found here.
In order to meet the necessary reduction, the district’s staff has gone through several options. Right now, the item proposed to have the biggest cut is administrative support for teacher-principal evaluations, or TPEP. By reassigning the equivalent of two assistant principals and reducing paraeducator support by a total of 30 hours per day across the district, $516,400 will be shaved off of the budget.
That number represents 20 percent of the funds currently used to pay for administrative support related to TPEP. It is the largest proposed cut related to staffing.
However, exactly how those cuts would be implemented has not yet been discussed in detail. District Superintendent Nick Brossoit said those discussions will happen over the next couple of weeks and it is unlikely the cuts would happen uniformly across all schools in the district. It is much more likely paraeducator support will be allocated to the schools that would benefit from it the most.
Reductions are also proposed in transportation, custodial and other administrative support.
Educators will also not be paid for attending the summer institute in the coming year, and funds related to an election will not be needed. A full list of proposed reductions can be found here.
Another public outreach meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, April 19 at Edmonds-Woodway High School at 7 p.m. Live audio live streaming of that meeting, as well as an archive of the audio from the meeting on April 12, are available at www.edmonds.wednet.edu/ESDlive.
–By Natalie Covate