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CKSD to Host Annual Budget Meetings

During the recent CKSD Capital Projects levy, there were a number of people who posted comments to articles published by the Kitsap Sun. Some of these individuals were highly critical of the Central Kitsap School administration, especially as it relates to their handling of financial resources (You know who you are!).

Well, here is their chance to actually participate in the process and provide input!

The Central Kitsap School District will be hosting two community meetings for the purposes of discussing the CKSD Operating Budget for the coming shcool year (2011-2012). The meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, march 2nd, at 6:30pm, and Thursday, March 3rd, at 6:30pm. Both meetings will be held in the Jenne-Wright Gymnasium, located at 9210 Silverdale Way NW. All CKSD parents and community members are invited to attend to learn more about the budget process and to provide feedback.

CKSD continues to face significant funding challenges stemming from State funding, decreasing enrollment, and increased costs. Without substantial changes at the Federal or State levels to fully fund education, these challenges will continue.

Based upon initial State budget proposals, CKSD could be required to reduce up to $2.2 million from its $113 million budget. These reductions are in addition to K-12 funding cuts for the current school year imposed by the State legislature during December’s special session. The district will not know the full extent of its budget shortfall for the 2011-12 schoo year until the final State budget is released this Spring.

CKSD Superintendent Greg Lynch commented:

“As in years past, our School Board and administration will continue to make difficult fiscal decisions with the  intent of minimizing impacts to our educational program. Although we are disappointed that the State Legislature repeatedly falls short of its responsibility to fully fund public schools, we’ll keep our focus on our commitment to provide CKSD students a high quality education within existing resources.”

3 thoughts on “CKSD to Host Annual Budget Meetings

  1. Participate and provide input yes, having it make a difference or be effective at this point in the process not so much. These open budget meetings are a requirement placed upon school districts. At this point in the process they are simply meeting that requirement. A vast majority of the decision have already been made at this point for the next school year and by March the district is already well into drafting up scenarios and RIF lists for notices that legally need to go out to Certificated (Teachers) staff by May 15th.

    I learned this lesson personally five years ago when my own child was in Kindergarten. I attended one of these open public budget review forums for the Bremerton School District. At that forum I ran into a principle of an elementary that I knew and a representative for one of the unions. I started talking to them about how excited I was to be there and how I wanted to make a difference in the process. I quickly learned from them that a vast majority of the decisions had already been made and I needed to involve myself sooner. Sitting on the District Finance Committee for the past three years has also shown me that to have any impact on those decisions for the next school year being made one must start involving oneself in October or November of the previous year.

    I do encourage as many parents and community members to attend this forum as possible. The education funding and operations process has been made overly complicated by our elected leadership as well as those currently managing the system. It will take the average citizen nearly a year just to be brought up to speed on the hoops, strings, mandates, contracted rules and perks and basically what boils down to a complete lack of common sense operations ensconced in layers and layers of distractionary bureaucracy. More importantly, if it is a year that union contracts will be negotiated, citizens and parents need to get in there ASAP. Over 80% of the average school district budget is tied to staffing, salaries and benefits. Complicated further by the very frustrating fact that the entire process of collective bargaining and decision making on this 80% is conducted behind closed doors or in executive sessions. The transparency to the public only starts to occur AFTER all the decisions are made and everything is completed.

  2. Hey Rich, have you been watching what is happening in Wisconsin today with teachers and legislators? It is beyond crazy.

    14 State Senators fled the state to avoid voting on a measure that would eliminate collective bargaining by any State Employees, including teachers, and would increase the amount of personal money they would need to contribute to their own pensions and benefits because Wisconsin is facing a $3.6 billion dollar budget gap. The Governor sent the State Police after them to round these elected officials up and return them to the capital.Teachers are swarming the Capital in Madison to the point that most schools across the state have had to close because they do not have enough staff showing up to operate.

    Let’s hope we (Washington) can manage budget cuts and labor compromises a little better than that.

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