Budget Reductions to Impact Programs
Centralia School District’s Board of Directors were given a briefing on program reductions during their May 27th regular meeting. Tabitha Whiting, Executive Director of Human Resources, shared information with the board about the program reductions which are a result of $11.9 million in necessary spending reductions for the 2020-21 school year.
Whiting shared an infographic with the board that outlined the major programs and activities that are impacted. “We have talked about people and individual positions that we won’t be able to have next year, but we haven’t yet really talked with you about programs,” said Whiting. We really wanted to make sure that all the affected individuals were notified prior to notifying everyone else about the affected programs.”
“These reductions are where we are at, right now, with the assumption of a complete loss of levy funding,” said Interim Superintendent, Kristy Vetter. “We will soon begin a collaborative process of identifying which programs and activities we might be able to bring back, and to what degree we’ll be able to do so, if the levy passes in August.”
Program reductions affect, but are not limited to:
- Class Sizes – core class sizes will increase, there will be some split-grade classrooms at the elementary level.
- Music – Band, Strings and Choir classes will continue for 7-12. No band or strings for 6th grade. K-3 general music instruction will increase.
- Library – No certificated librarian serving at CHS. We will retain most of the K-12 library offerings for students.
- Custodial – Reduced custodial support at all buildings.
- Highly Capable – No singular dedicated HiCap teacher, redevelopment of HiCap program at the elementary level.
- Groundskeeping – Reduced support.
- Interventions – Reduction of classified intervention support (paraeducators). Increase in K-3 certificated intervention support.
- Safety – Elimination of campus monitors at CHS and CMS. Centralia School District will continue to have a school resource officer in partnership with Centralia Police Department.
- Activities – reduction of co-curricular activities, development of reduced program structure.
- Technology – there is a reduction of staff and budget resources to purchase technology
- Athletics – Elimination of district-funded sports. Possible development of alternative athletics program for 2020-21 with reduced offerings.
Whiting also identified the guiding principals the district applied when making reduction decisions. Those principals included:
- Minimizing the impact on student learning.
- Ensuring the district is able to meet state, federal, and local policy requirements.
- Keeping an equity lens so no groups are disproportionately impacted.
- Leaving no rock unturned – all options were considered.
Whiting acknowledged community sentiments regarding athletics. “We know Athletics is 100 percent levy funded. This is a topic that we continue to struggle with because we understand the importance,” she said. “However, if we don’t have levy funding we unfortunately don’t have a funding source for that program.” Whiting stated there is no “definitive” plan to offer athletics in 2020-21, but shared that alternative plans for reduced offerings are being discussed.
The program and activities reductions shared by the district assume the complete loss of levy funding for 2020-21. “After the levy loss in February and our decision to postpone the April second-attempt election, we have to proceed with our budgeting process as though we will not have those funds next year,” said Interim Superintendent Kristy Vetter. “If the levy passes, the funding situation will change somewhat. We’ll be engaging in a collaborative process with our stakeholder groups to make decisions about what programs we can bring back in that event.”
Percentages on the bar graph below show how much expendtures have been reduced in each employee category