Redmond, Wash. – At its June 24 meeting, the Lake Washington School District Board of Directors received a draft budget for the 2013-14 school year. However, the state of Washington, the district’s largest funding source, did not yet have a budget. That left plenty of question marks in the district’s draft budget. Now that the state budget has been signed into law, the legislative impacts on the Lake Washington School District and the budget draft have become clearer. An updated budget proposal will be presented to the Board of Directors at its August 5 meeting that reflects an expected increase in state funding.
“This additional funding is a step toward fully funding basic education,” noted Dr. Traci Pierce, superintendent. “After many years of budget cuts or flat budgets, it is a change in the right direction. Many basic needs remain unfunded or dependent on local levies, however.” Read More >>
The bottom line impact for the district will be an increase in the budget of an estimated $7.8 million for the 2013-14 school year, some of which is restricted to spending on specific programs. To put that amount in perspective, the revenue total originally budgeted for the 2013-14 general fund was about $242.5 million, which already included two of the new items in the state budget.
Those two items included a restoration of previous staff salary cuts and an increase in costs for employer retirement contributions. As expected, the final budget restores the 1.9% (for certified and classified staff) and 3% (for administrative staff) salary cuts from the 2011-12 school year. The result is a $2 million dollar revenue increase to the district. No cost-of-living increase was included in the budget. The district’s proposed budget also includes the state required 2.3% increase in the employer retirement contribution.
Some of the additional state funding is restricted to specific purposes. Lake Washington will get additional funding for the English Language Learner program and for the Learning Assistance Program, for example. In the second year of the biennium, 2014-15, the district will receive an estimated $2 million to provide additional instructional hours for grades 7-12, with an increase in the state requirement from 1000 hours to 1080. The district will have a year to plan how school schedules will change to accommodate that increase.
The district will not receive any funding for two significant areas in the state budget – all-day kindergarten and grades K-3 class size reduction. Both funding sources are reserved for high-poverty schools and Lake Washington does not qualify.
The most significant increase in revenue will be in the Maintenance, Supplies and Operating Costs (MSOC) line item. The district will get approximately $4.3 million more in 2013-14 and that increases by an additional $1 million in 2014-15. Special education funding will also increase by an estimated $600,000 in 2013-14.
The state also will improve transportation funding. In 2013-14, the state budget increases transportation funding by 40 percent of what would be needed to fully fund transportation according to the state’s definition, or about $1.2 million additional funding for the district. That increases to providing what the state defines as fully funding transportation in 2014-15, which will mean an additional $2.9 million that year in transportation funding for the district.
A revised budget is currently being prepared to reflect the changes in state funding for 2013-14. The current budget proposal is available to the public on the district website now. Comments on the proposed budget may be emailed to the district’s board of directors at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Lake Washington School District, PO Box 97039, Redmond, WA 98073-9739. In addition, the board will hold a public hearing on the budget at its August 5 meeting. Members of the public will have an opportunity to provide input to the board about the budget in that hearing.
About Lake Washington: Lake Washington School District is a high-performing public school district serving Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish, Washington. It is the sixth largest district in the state of Washington, with over 25,000 students in 51 schools.