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San Juan Island School District braces for more education cuts
On Monday, Nov. 28, the legislature reconvened for more state spending cuts. Superintendent Rick Thompson anticipated that those cuts will impact the San Juan Island School District. On Nov. 21, the Governor released a budget, which included a combination of kindergarten through grade 12 reductions along with a half penny increase on sales tax designed to offset the impact of the cuts.
“We will continue to follow the special session closely to anticipate where the cuts will come,” said Thompson. “We are also expecting reductions to federal funding, in light of automatic cuts to federal spending which will take effect now that the Super committee has not been able to act.”
Thompson expects the following could be cut: fewer school days (180 days have been part of the definition of basic education), Local Effort Assistance (funding designed to assist property poor districts), salary reductions, and staff funding.
Thompson urges islanders to voice opposition to educational cuts, and careful consideration of the Capital and Technology Levy which will be presented to voters on Feb. 14, so that the district doesn’t use classroom dollars to maintain facility needs.
“The Great Recession continues to impact the way we operate public schools, and threatens the educational gains that have been made in our state over the last twenty years,” said Thompson. “Fully funding basic education continues to be the highest duty of our state legislators. Please let your voice be known.”