Issaquah School District loses $1 million due to state cuts

December 13, 2010

By Laura Geggel

NEW — 1:25 p.m. Dec. 13, 2010

The state Legislature cut $1 million from the Issaquah School District’s 2010-11 funding during a one-day special session Saturday.

District administrators will have to dip into reserves to maintain the staffing ratios and operating budget authorized in August, Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said. Using reserve funds now will impact future projects, including curriculum adoptions and may decrease noncontractual service levels.

“It is absolutely unprecedented and highly challenging to have the Legislature cut our funding mid-school year,” Rasmussen said.

Issaquah’s Chief of Finance and Operations Jacob Kuper said, “It’s like the Issaquah School District has just been handed a million dollars of debt.”

Lawmakers held the special session to address a $1.1 billion statewide revenue shortfall for the current budget year ending June 30. During their regular session in January, they will address a projected $4.6 billion deficit.

At the special session, legislators eliminated funding to lower class size in kindergarten through fourth grade and used $208 million in federal education-jobs funding to backfill basic-education dollars.

“This is uncharted waters, what’s happening to us right now,” Kuper said. “While our reserve fund may keep us afloat for the remainder of the year, we know a much bigger storm is coming for us in the state’s next budget cycle.

“The district’s adopted spending plan and my assumption for revenues have had to change course radically.”

The budget cuts attracted opposition from Issaquah-area legislators, state Rep. Glenn Anderson and state Sen. Steve Litzow.

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5 Responses to “Issaquah School District loses $1 million due to state cuts”

  1. Frustrated on December 13th, 2010 9:13 pm

    Congratulations, we’ve lowered/eliminated more taxes in Washington. Hope everyone doesn’t mind the education of their children suffering as a result of the loss of funding.

  2. doggril on December 14th, 2010 7:49 am

    To all of you who actually believe that government has so much fat that it could cut and cut and cut and not really impact anything important: welcome to the government you deserve. And this is only the beginning.

  3. Steve on December 14th, 2010 8:15 am

    I have no problem with government cuts and I feel more are in order. On the other hand, I have a huge problem with the prioritization of these cuts. Hammer the unions into submission, first.

  4. Alvin on December 14th, 2010 12:50 pm

    Maybe the automatic pension escalators of 3% annually to state union employees even when there is no inflation should be cut first. Uh, duh.

  5. Scripts on December 14th, 2010 5:51 pm

    Hope everyone doesn’t mind the education of their children suffering as a result of the loss of funding.
    Education wouldn’t have to suffer if the state didn’t choose to cut funding from it. Think about the programs and pork that isn’t cut, and realize that the state chooses to cut education because that’s the most visible and will cause the most outrage.

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