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Apportionment Delays Letter

Apportionment Delays Letter

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Published by sunnews820
Washington State schools Superintendent Randy Dorn on June 11 warned of fiscal consequences to the state's 295 school districts should the Legislature fail to pass a budget by June 30.
Washington State schools Superintendent Randy Dorn on June 11 warned of fiscal consequences to the state's 295 school districts should the Legislature fail to pass a budget by June 30.

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Published by: sunnews820 on Jun 15, 2013
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01/22/2014

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June 7, 2013Dear Legislators: As we approach the end of the first special session of 2013, my concern for our students increases with each passing day. It is my understanding that if a budget doesnot pass by June 30
th
, my office will not have the appropriation authority to fulfill thepayment obligations to school districts or even pay the staff needed to carry out thiswork. State funding makes up two-
thirds of school districts’ general funds. Without
state funding school districts will find it difficult to meet their financial obligations.The repercussions of not passing a budget will affect student learning for the upcomingyear. School districts will not be able to provide professional development this summer for important state priorities such as the administration of the WaKIDS assessment for our state funded full-day Kindergarten students and teacher and principal training for theimplementation of the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Project without state funding.
OSPI’s Teacher certification process will grind to a halt, impacting school districts’ ability
to hire new staff in time for classes to begin on time in the fall.Some of the effects of missing the June 30
th
deadline can be mitigated if we act now. If a budget is not enacted by June 15
th
, I am requesting legislative action to allow schooldistricts flexibility with the budgeting and employee notification deadlines set by statute.Specifically, school districts will need flexibility with the following deadlines:
Notice of non-renewal of employee contracts and subsequent deadlines
Notice of completion of school district budget
Notice of meeting for adoption of school district budget
Hearing and adoption of school district budgets and subsequent deadlines
Budget review committee approval and subsequent deadlines
Budget filing to OSPII am providing you with following specific examples of the impact to school districts if abudget agreement does not occur soon.
Basic Education Payments to School Districts
OSPI projects, base
d on the historical fund balance of school districts’ general funds,
115 districts will not be able to meet their financial obligations
 –
including
 
LegislatorsPage 2June 7, 2013
meeting payroll and making utility payments
if they do not receive their Julyapportionment payment from the state.OSPI makes payment to schools on or before the last business day of the month (RCW28A.510.250). School districts receive ten percent of their annual apportionmentpayments in both July and August. The monthly apportionment payment to schooldistricts is anticipated to be $517M. OSPI staff will need at least 10 days to prepare allthe documentation to send out the payments.Without a clear date for state budget enactment, the length of disruption in cash flow for 
school districts is undefined. This uncertainty affects districts’ capacity to plan and
adapt. School buildings may be shut down, since utility payments cannot be paid.Summer maintenance projects already contracted are at risk for nonpayment.
Child Nutrition Funding
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides federal funds to
575nonresidential child care providers
to serve nutritious meals and snacks to low-
income children, but we can’t disburse these funds without budgetary author 
ity. Withoutappropriation authority, OSPI will not be able to pass-through the July payments of 
$2.4M to child care providers and $1.4M to day care homes.
These providers do
not have the means to provide these meals without the state’s assistance.
 
State Construction Funding for School District FacilitiesThirty-six school districts
receiving state construction funding could face a projected
shortfall of $36M
 
for construction projects already underway.
School districts mustexhaust their local share of the construction costs before state reimbursements begins.Without the state reimbursements, school districts will experience a financial hardshipfor contracts already executed. Additionally, OSPI will not grant school constructionassistance commitments in July. Without this commitment, some school districts willnot be able to send their projects out to bid causing delays with the potential of additional costs and missed opportunities in the summer construction window.Funds from the common school construction account pay the debt service for the schoolconstruction and skill center bonds. A transfer is expected on the first of July and August. Staff to make these transfers is needed to ensure the state does not default onthese bonds.
School District Budget Adoption & Employee Contracts
Local school districts are required in statute (28A.505 RCW) to complete a budget byJuly 10
th
of each year. OSPI has the authority to extend this date, if the state has notapproved an operating budget by June 1
st
. However, first-class
school districts stillmust adopt a budget by August 31
st
, and second-class school districts must

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