Can We Rely on Olympia to Invest In
That’s the number of students the Northshore School District will serve by the 2022-2023 school year. Meaning we’ll need more funds to make sure our children will get the education quality they deserve.
However, the state legislature has yet again failed to fully fund education. They did pass a "McCleary" bill, but most experts agree that the funding level falls very short of needs, and changes in allocations and regulations have created more questions than answers in some areas. These three areas in particular have created major uncertainty.
Passing an education funding package that provides an additional $7.3 billion spread over the next 4 years.
But capping the state property tax levy allocation, which reduces overall state levy funds by $3 billion or more.
Not passing a capital budget, so there are no additional funds for new school construction or existing school expansions.
I’m not optimistic about what our state will provide for our schools in the upcoming years. Therefore, our local bond and levy revenues are probably more important than ever.
Here’s the Way Northshore Public
Schools Are Funded
Just to give you a perspective of the big picture, here is a quick breakdown of our funding sources:
Currently, Northshore School District serves a total of 21,000 students and has an annual operating budget of roughly $233 million.
As you can see, over two-thirds of the budget comes from the state. The local levy, some federal funds, and other taxes make up the remainder.
THE NEED FOR RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT
Because our local levy controls one-third of the Northshore School District’s budget, it’s very important for us to focus on financial management and oversight, as well as passing bond and levy efforts.
To make up for Olympia’s continued unwillingness to provide truly adequate state funding, we’ll need to increase our bond and levy funding and prioritize cost-saving measures to stretch our local tax dollars.
To support these priorities, I will:
Explore creating more diligent processes to oversee school and program budget creation and spending guidelines. This includes individual school operating budgets, facilities management, and short and long-term capital budget priorities.
Push for detailed internal budget audits to check for authorized budget spending and inefficiencies. The complexity of having multiple funding sources may create duplicate and/or inefficient use of funds for specific programs.
Support our community track record of passing bonds and levies.
If you believe in utilizing our local education funds to their fullest potential, let’s work together to create a school district that is fiscally responsible - and effective.