State cuts $1 million from Issaquah district
December 14, 2010
By Laura Geggel
The state Legislature cut $1 million from the Issaquah School District’s 2010-11 funding during a one-day special session Dec. 11.
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.”