BISD budget deficit grows

With the release of the Washington State House proposed biennium budget on Monday, the Bainbridge Island School District now faces a $1.2 million hole in next year’s budget.

The proposal set forth by the House calls for $1.2 billion in savings with the suspension of Initiative 728, which is money provided to school districts for class size reduction and Initiative 732, which deals with a cost of living adjustment.

$216 million was cut from K-4 class size reduction while $56.4 million was saved through the freezing of the K-12 salary schedule.

BISD Supt. Faith Chapel said the House’s proposed budget was not much of a surprise based on the school district’s projections.

“This version, much like the governor’s version, does not have a significant impact so far that is different from our worst case scenario was,” she said.

The school district will get some help to reduce the deficit through various sources.

The main source will be the Bainbridge Schools Foundation. Chapel said they plan to ask BSF for $500,000 in financial support to help offset the loss of state funds.

The District Budget Advisory Committee also identified $300,000 in savings due to projections made for a small reduction in enrollment and a small reduction in operational costs.

The next step is to work on what cuts will be made for next year’s budget.

The committee is hosting a survey at to get input from the community on the remaining $500,000 of cuts that need to be made.

The options made available are reducing or cutting the counseling program for K-4, reducing or eliminating full-time librarians in the district, reducing sports programs or raising athletic fees, or reducing the number of school days, which is also an option being considered by the state legislature.

Surveys must be completed by April 18.


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