Heading for a levy “cliff?”
Look, out there on the horizon, is that the threat of teacher lay-offs?
School District officials say it’s possible
if the Legislature doesn’t agree on stalling a “levy cliff”
that’s looming for the 2017-18 school year.
Photo by koratmember at freedigitalphotos.net
Higher local school levy lids (maximum collection amounts allowed) are due to sunset. A bill that didn’t make it through the regular session would have allowed districts to continue collecting at the higher amounts, at least for a year. Without an agreement, local funding will be slashed in the 2017-18 school year.
“This would clearly impact our ability to hire or retain staff for the 2017-18 school year,” Bremerton spokeswoman Patty Glaser said.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the levy cliff bill in the special session, now under way.
Coverage of lead in Ordway water continues
As last week wrapped up, we gave an update of the Ordway water quality issue, as a panel of experts reassured parents that their children’s exposure to lead from water at the school most likely had been low. The district continues to use bottled water at Ordway as a consulting firm re-tests all the faucets and water fountains.
Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting with the Bainbridge Island School District facilities director to review water testing records to date. The district is working on a map showing how each faucet and fountain at six schools tested. I also plan to check in with other districts to see if any of them have done voluntary testing for lead in their schools’ water. The kind of testing BISD undertook in December will be required of school in 2017.
North Mason School District to transfer land for
The district hopes to transfer property it owns on Sweetwater Creek to the Port of Allyn for use as a park.
The port is working with the Salmon Center to build a park and
restore the water wheel at the site.
The school district, which bought the parcel in 1997, had planned to build fish ladders for spawning chum, create trails and a small park. But the district already has its hands full with the Theler property, a wetlands and community center that was deeded to the district but which the district can no longer afford to maintain.
“This looks like a really good project for the community, but it’s not a good project for the school district,” Superintendent Dana Rosenbach said.
The Salmon Center has led efforts to get state grants for the park work.
Award winning bus mechanic at work
And in case you missed it, here’s a video of Maurine Simons, a South Kitsap School District bus mechanic who earned a place in a national competition. Simons was the first woman to compete in the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s annual bus mechanics competition.
Note, March 24, 2016: I have been out of town since March 16, tending to a family matter that came up unexpectedly. I did not have a chance to meet with BISD officials about water test results. Thanks in advance for your patience, as I regroup on coverage of the issue of lead in Ordway Elementary School water.