From Stanwood-Camano School District
In late March, the Stanwood-Camano School Board approved a Reduced Educational Program plan, which is helping the district work to create a balanced budget as required by law.
Since then, our financial outlook has improved slightly. However, not enough to avoid spending reductions across the school district’s landscape.
The Reduced Educational Program plan was based on the best available federal, state, and local funding information at the time. Since then, several factors — including the conclusion of the state’s legislative session — have begun to solidify and we can more accurately forecast our financial situation for the 2023-24 school year.
We had originally estimated a need to reduce spending by about $8.5 million. As of May 25, we estimate the district will reduce spending by about $6.8 million. The change is due mostly to the impact of districtwide spending reductions made earlier this school year and a handful of funding increases from the state in various areas of the budget, including special education.
The good news is that we were able to bring back many of the certificated teachers who received a Reduction in Force (RiF) notice as positions became available due to increased resources and additional retirements and resignations.
However, as part of the overall spending reductions we likely won’t be filling several other positions left vacant due to retirements, job changes, and leaves of absences.
In addition, classified staff — paraeducators, custodians, maintenance staff, etc. — will also see some hours reduced as part of the overall budget cuts. The district office will see reductions as well.
Overall, this will put a strain on our entire education system. Meanwhile, we will continue to work with statewide groups that lobby our state and federal legislators to fully fund education.
You can read about some of the driving forces behind our financial situation in our past Budget Update messages.
The upcoming budget is still a work in progress and we caution that things can still change. The district will continue to meet with labor partners and monitor other financial changes while following our District Promise and Strategic Plan to help guide decisions when making reductions and restoring programs.
Later this summer, the District will provide a formal 2023-24 Budget to the public and School Board, as required by state law. There will be a public hearing for anyone to provide comments.