Issaquah School District could lose more than $3 million from governor’s cuts

December 17, 2010

By Laura Geggel

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Dec. 17, 2010

The Issaquah School District is slated to lose $3.17 million in the proposed budget Gov. Chris Gregoire released Wednesday.

The 2011-13 proposed budget aims to address a $4.6 billion shortfall.

“This is on top more than $10 million in cuts from the last two budget cycles and a $1-million midyear cut to our current budget from Saturday’s special session,” Issaquah Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said in a statement. “If I have said we were down to the bone before now, this starts cutting into the marrow of classroom operations.”

State legislators already cut $1 million from the Issaquah district during a round of budget cutting Dec. 10.

Gregoire’s budget reduces or eliminates funding in seven key areas for Washington’s public K-12 education, including:

  • Eliminating $216 million for kindergarten through fourth-grade class-size reduction.
  • Suspending $860.2 million from Initiative 728, a measure to reduce class size and provide professional development for teachers.
  • Suspending $253.3 million from Initiative 732, which grants cost-of-living increases to teachers.
  • Suspending $57 million in planned increases for all-day kindergarten.
  • Suspending $99.5 million in annual bonuses for National Board-certified teachers.
  • Suspending $56.3 million for annual step increases for teachers.
  • Eliminating $18.6 million for the gifted-student program.

The proposed budget also increases employer contributions for pension plans and lowers a calculation factor for collecting local maintenance-and-operations levies, district spokeswoman Sara Niegowski said.

Superintendent of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn called the proposed budget the worst he had seen in the 30 years he had worked in education.

“But this budget isn’t all about numbers; it’s about kids,” he said in a statement. “And once again, our kids got cut.”

The state Legislature will begin its work on Gregoire’s budget in January. Under state law, the governor takes the initial step at the budget. Then, both houses of the Legislature hammer out proposals. The end result is a blend of the proposals.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Issaquah School District could lose more than $3 million from governor’s cuts”

  1. KD on December 17th, 2010 2:40 pm

    I don’t feel bad about these items on the short-term:
    ■Suspending $253.3 million from Initiative 732, which grants cost-of-living increases to teachers.
    ■Suspending $57 million in planned increases for all-day kindergarten.
    ■Suspending $99.5 million in annual bonuses for National Board-certified teachers.
    ■Suspending $56.3 million for annual step increases for teachers.

    The rest though really have a direct impact on students and are scary. It’s clear that Gregoire’s priorities aren’t with education.

  2. SB on December 21st, 2010 11:45 am

    How could you not feel bad about these items??

    ■ Suspending $253.3 million from Initiative 732, which grants cost-of-living increases to teachers.
    ■ Suspending $56.3 million for annual step increases for teachers.

    Most teachers are extremely hard working and are so deserving of the minimal increases that they get every year. They are completely underpaid and overworked. They devote their lives to our future, and how do we repay them? We take away their only opportunity to gain an extra buck. Give me a break!

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