August 14, 2012
“Flat” was the key word Aug. 8, when the Issaquah School District rolled out its draft budget for the 2012-13 academic year to the tune of $167.46 million.
But it wasn’t necessarily a bad word. In this case, flat means not only no major leaps in spending or state funding but also no major program reductions or changes in class-size allocation.
“Who thought flat state funding would be an exciting thing?” asked Jake Kuper, chief of finance and operations for the district.
When the recession hit in 2008, state funding for schools began a steep downward spiral that totaled a nearly $16 million loss for the district. During the 2008-09 school year the state paid 68 percent of the district’s bills. Since then, that rate has dropped to 60.8 percent and there, Kuper said, is where it remains stagnant.