South Kitsap School District’s
Budget Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are we not including the Senate’s budget proposal in our budget projections for 2013-14? A: Because state lawmakers are not finished working on the budget that will determine much of the funding available for our school district during the 2013-14 school year, we believe it is consistent with sound fiscal policy to budget based on the current year’s funding until we have a finally adopted state budget from which to plan. There are four budget proposals that have been considered: the budget proposed by former Governor Gregoire, the one proposed by Governor Inslee, a House proposal, and a Senate proposal. All of those proposals would increase state funding for school districts during the 201314 school year. It has been suggested by some that we should assume we will be receiving at least the funds allocated under the Senate budget because it contains the least amount of new revenue of the four current budget proposals. Under the Senate budget proposal, as reported by OSPI funding documents, state funding for South Kitsap School District would increase by $3,964,532. Consequently, we are being asked why we are not including the $3,964,532 of estimated additional funding in our budget projections for 2013-14. It has also been asserted that we would not need to implement a reduction in force (RIF) if we were to assume we will receive at least the funds allocated in the Senate budget. First, we think it is wise not to spend state funds we are not yet guaranteed for next year based on state budgets that have not been passed yet. We are very hopeful that the final budget will be at least as favorable, if not more favorable, than the currently proposed Senate budget. For purposes of fiscal planning, however, we have planned based on current funding. It is much easier to spend unexpected funding once it is received than to un-spend funds that have already been spent. Second, even if we assumed the level of funding set forth in the Senate’s proposed budget, we do not believe that the Senate budget would result in a complete elimination of the need for the District to reduce its budget and workforce. Much of the estimated $3,964,532 available to SKSD under the Senate budget proposal would be required to be spent on specific items. For example: • • $550,056 would be dedicated to restoring the 1.9% salary cut that was levied two years ago. $733,171 would be dedicated to fringe benefits (e.g. pension costs will increase so this money is provided to mitigate that increase). These two items total $1,283,227 which is
“flow throw” money that goes directly to our employees and therefore is not discretionary money that the district could use to rehire teachers. $989,560 would be dedicated to three state categorical programs (Learning Assistance Program, LAP; Transitional Bilingual Program and Highly Capable Program). This money can only be spent in these programs and therefore is not available for discretionary use by the district. $322,912 in the Senate budget is dedicated to special education and so also cannot be used at the discretion of the district.
This brings the total of dedicated funds in the Senate budget to $2,595,699, leaving us a balance of $1,368,833 of additional discretionary funds that the district could use to cover the cost of any additional staff not funded by the state, special education not covered by the state, and other rising costs such as fuel, utilities, liability and insurance not covered by the state. In addition, the Senate’s April proposal included a decrease in the amount (levy lid) we can collect from our levy, so it is still not clear whether we can rely on current levels of levy funding. Proposals in the Senate have included reducing the District’s levy authority by 1% per year beginning in 2015, which could result in a loss of approximately $1.65 million in 2015, $1.18 million in 2016, and $1.57 million in 2017, based on OSPI-published levy planning tools. Click here OSPI Senate Impact to see this OSPI-published document based on the Senate budget proposal titled, “Worksheet for Estimating 2014 through 2018 Levy Authority and LEA.” These are funds that are needed to operate our district, and the loss of this levy authority could offset any gains from state funding increases. As you can see, when looking at the proposed state budgets, one really has to read the “fine print.” We also have to look ahead for the full term of the levy. Consequently, we must be cautious in the assumptions we make about levy funding and whether it will continue at current levels.
Reduction in Force (RIF)
Q: What is the amount of the budget shortfall for 2013-14 that has caused a Reduction in Force (RIF)? A: $4.6 million, assuming we receive no new funds from the state. Q: Why is the budget shortfall so large? A: There were two main factors behind the budget shortfall: (1) declining enrollment, and (2) the need to reduce from the District’s budget an additional $3 Million to avoid further depletion of the District’s financial reserves. 1. Declining Enrollment. Since 2003-04 the South Kitsap School District has experienced a steady decline in enrollment.
Enrollment is the basis for many state and federal funding formulas. When there are fewer students to educate, at some point we must face the fact that we will need fewer teachers to educate them. Historically the District has attempted to absorb these declines through resignations and retirements. However, taking currently anticipated resignations and retirements into account, we are unlikely to be able to absorb all of the impacts of the ongoing projected declining enrollment. Next year (2013–14), we are projecting a decline in enrollment resulting in a loss of approximately $1.6 million.
2. The Necessity to Reduce Expenditures for 2013-14 by $3 million. Over the past five years, in order to maintain additional support for our classrooms, we have been spending more than we have been receiving in revenue. We have been able to do this by eliminating positions and cutting funds from facilities, curriculum and other areas. All of the money generated from these activities has been placed in the district’s savings which are called reserves. Each year we have dedicated some of our savings account (reserves) to cover the additional expenses. These expenses include maintaining teaching positions and educational programs previously (but no longer) funded by the state as well as increasing financial obligations not fully covered by state funding such as special education, fuel, utilities, and liability and employment insurances. We also know that federal cuts will result in less revenue in 2013-14 for Special Education, Indian Education, Title I, Title II and Military Impact Aid, resulting in our having to cut our spending in 201314. In order to maintain our ability to meet district operating costs when our monthly expenses are more than our monthly revenue, the Board needs to maintain a reserve to cover these short-term shortfalls.
Our savings (reserves) have been exhausted so we have to restore the Board’s reserve to the 3% prescribed in district policy. With our savings exhausted, we have no means of supplementing the decreased revenue we receive from the state and federal governments. In short we cannot maintain spending at the same levels we have for the past five years. Consequently, we have reduced our spending (educational programs) by $3 million for 2013-14 and developed a budget that reflected that reduction in spending.
Q: How many positions were eliminated? A: 68.688 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) Positions • 61.3 FTE are certificated teacher positions • 7.388 FTE certificated administrative positions and classified positions Q: How many people received Reduction in Force (RIF) letters? A: 57 people Q: Why did you implement the Reduction in Force (RIF) now? A: By law, the school district has until May 15 in most years to notify any certificated staff member whose contract will not be renewed. In years when the Legislature has not passed a budget by May 15, the deadline is extended to June 15. The District chose to meet the original May 15 deadline to ensure timely notice to impacted employees. This provides more notice and opportunity for affected staff to look for positions in other districts if necessary. Q: Is there a chance any of these 57 people will get their jobs back? A: As people retire or resign, we will offer those positions to those who received layoff notices. However, given the current budget situation, any positions lost due to enrollment decline and those positions that were previously funded by the state (I-728) for which we receive no funding will not be replaced. Staff who were impacted by the elimination of these positions will, however, be recalled to different positions as they become available. Q: How were the positions identified for Reduction in Force (RIF)? A: Through the process outlined in the SKEA/SKSD Collective Bargaining Agreement. Click here to read pages 27 – 30 in the collective bargaining agreement. Collective Bargaining Agreement Q: Is there a time limit as to when teachers who have been laid off can be recalled to fill open positions in the school district? A: Yes. Two school fiscal years according to the collective bargaining agreement with the teachers. Click here Collective Bargaining Agreement to read section 6.8.12 - Employment Pool and Recall Procedures. We will be recalling people throughout the summer and beyond as positions become available to fill the positions for which they qualify.
Q: If the state legislature and the Governor create a budget that includes a substantial down payment on the McCleary decision, will you restore the teachers? A: The number of restored positions will be dependent on the requirements of the state allocation and federal funding. Q: Are programs within Career and Technical Education (CTE) being eliminated? A: No. Some sections have been reduced, but at this time no total programs have been eliminated.
Q: Are class sizes going to be much larger in 2013-14? A: There should be no change at the elementary level in class size as we staffed to the preferred number in the SKEA contract. On average at the secondary level, there might be an increase of four students, as we staffed at four below the preferred number in the SKEA contract in 2012-13. Click here Collective Bargaining Agreement to see the SKSD Teacher/Student Ratios, per the SKEA/SKSD Collective Bargaining Agreement. Q: Who determined the “preferred” class size numbers by which staffing for 2013-14 was computed? A: The class size was determined by the collective bargaining agreement.
Q: Are there plans to cut sports and extracurricular activities? A: No. We are committed to the whole child and believe these activities keep the students connected to the schools and also play an important role in keeping students in school. In addition, we feel that if sports and extracurricular activities were cut, students may choose to transfer to other districts with these programs, exacerbating our enrollment situation.
South Kitsap School District Teacher/Student Ratios Per the SKEA/SKSD Collective Bargaining Agreement Elementary Teacher/Student Ratios
Level K-3 Regular Classroom 4th Regular Classroom 5-6 Regular Classroom 1-3 Combination Classroom 3-4 Combination Classroom 4-5 Combination Classroom Preferred 1:24 1:28 1:30 1:22 1:25 1:28 Maximum 1:25 1:29 1:31 1:24 1:27 1:30
Secondary Teacher/Student Ratios
Level 7-9 Academic Classes 10-12 Academic Classes 7-12 PE 7-12 Music (Choral/Band) Preferred 1:33 1:35 1:25 Maximum 1:35 1:37 1:38 No Limit Total Student Load 1:165 (avg. 33 per class) 1:175 (avg. 35 per class) 1:185 (avg. 37 per class)