A large crowd of protesters is expected at Edmonds School District administrative headquarters when the Edmonds School Board holds a special meeting Tuesday, April 18 to discuss $15 million in proposed budget cuts. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.
The cuts are expected to drastically reduce the availability of elective courses and other programs such as career and technical education and music. Edmonds School District representatives have stated that the budget cuts are necessary due a 900-student decline in enrolled students, noting that it receives funding from the state based on enrollment numbers.
Proposed cuts to music classes are generating the most vocal concerns from district parents, staff, students and alumni. Every high school intends to eliminate at least two or three music classes in response to their shrinking budgets and middle schools will also see these cuts. Edmonds-Woodway would lose its choir, an orchestra and a drama class. Lynnwood High School would see its jazz ensemble and drum line eliminated. Meadowdale High School would lose three ensembles. Mountlake Terrace High would see its only choir, two bands and a drama class go away.
Many educators who teach classes scheduled for elimination may see their employment reduced from full time to part time. The budget also calls for elimination of classified and administrative positions.
The ESD board has already announced it will close the Woodway Center, which housed some kindergarten and preschool classes, to save money.
Those protesting the budget cuts are using social media to organize in a variety of ways, and many plan to wear red when speaking at the upcoming meeting. Student musicians will gather outside district headquarters to play prior to Tuesday’s meeting. A Change.org petition has also been established.
At the beginning of Tuesday night’s meeting, district administrators are scheduled to present an informational slideshow explaining the reasoning behind staff reduction decisions. A recording of a virtual meeting from March 1 explains further how the budget works.
Prior to the 6:30 p.m. special board meeting, the school board will meet at 4:30 p.m. virtually to address findings from an independent study regarding the district’s special education program. You can watch that meeting here.
The special school board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Educational Service Center, 20420 68th Ave. W., Lynnwood, and it can also be viewed via livestream. There is an opportunity for public comment and the complete agenda can be viewed here.
Thank you so much for your coverage! As a mild correction EW is losing a choir, an orchestra and a drama class and MTHS is losing their only choir, two bands and a drama class.
Thanks — we have updated the story to reflect that information.
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