Could KSD find more money to prevent current or future budget cuts?

YES!

While the thought of increasing local levies is not something anyone, especially recession-hit tax payers, wants to deal with, it is possible that KSD could put the issue before the voters in order to save teachers and programs in Kent.  Without a doubt, the voters of Kent have seen in the past the value of education by supporting levy renewals– even in the current recessionary climate.    At  the June Community Budget Forum, it was shown that the local levy dollars, combined with Levy Equalization measures, allowed KSD to make up for cuts in education funding at the state level. 

Despite this fact, the District has chosen to RIF teachers and programs yet again.  This is unnecessary and harmful!  Going back to the voters to increase the levy is possible, but is not necessary to recall those laid off. The cost of restoring all the certificated staff who received layoff notices is about $1.2 million,  and the General Fund Balance will be almost $22 million by the end of this year’s budget. They can afford the recall of RIF’d teachers and staff without an election.   In light of the fact that the last levy passed with 53% of the vote makes the levy a long shot, but one that the District can consider if it needs to.  

Some facts about possible revenue streams that KSD has chosen not to take advantage of to protect the kids of Kent:

  • Total K-12 enrollment excluding Running Start in Kent has changed very little in the last four years.
  • Thanks in large part to the passage of SHB 2893, the District could collect an additional $5.7 million (11.3%) more in local levy revenue next year compared to this year’s collections if Kent voters approved an increase in local levies.
  • The District has chosen to do without $3.3 million in revenue over the last five years by not maximizing the amount of levy dollars they can collect under the law.
  • If KSD does no approach the voters this Fall about increased levy dollars, the District will be choosing to do without $3.5 million in 2011.

KSD continues to say that they have no choice but to cut programs and staff in Kent.  Clearly, based upon the information above, KSD could, in fact, avoid these cuts through an increase of the levy in Kent.  This is not the only solution possible, nor is it the most desirable, but it is an alternative to cutting, and cutting, and cutting some more from the budget in Kent.   Shouldn’t the voters of Kent have the opportunity to choose between an increase in levies and a decrease in education services in Kent? 

You can view the entire Community Budget Forum presentation from June 2nd here.  We welcome your comments and questions!

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4 Responses to “Could KSD find more money to prevent current or future budget cuts?”

  1. Steve Says:

    “The Future is Now.”

    My son likes to wear his t-shirt shirt from the KSD Tech Expo a few months ago. On the front is printed “The Future is Now.”

    In addition to preparing KSD kids for their futures, how about we prepare them now??

    Let’s get KSD to see delaying cutbacks as a good thing instead of bad!

    Let’s get KSD to see counselors as helping kids graduate on time instead of a luxury item.

    Let’s get KSD to see music teachers as opening oppotunites for kids instead of an extra expense.

    Let’s get KSD to see classroom teachers as valuable resources instead of a discretionary expense.

    For about one million dollars, KSD can make it happen.

    I am talking to you, Board members.

    Make it happen.

  2. Truth Says:

    So is it greed that is preventing KSD from using their monies to save jobs and positions? I cannot imagine my child’s school surviving without a librarian! In fact, I heard that many of the librarians also do the tech person’s job. What is the purpose of having a tech person then?

  3. noneneeded Says:

    For all the budget cut talks I was surprised to see so many listings for openings of teachers, paras and administrators. Lots of principal / assistant principal movement (openings) listed. Did everyone leave or retire? Are Admin. just being moved around to avoid being held accountable (ie no child left behind / test scores / graduation rates etc. etc.)? As I said, it just seems surprising there are so many openings listed when just a few months ago there was talk of layoffs.

    • Not Sure Says:

      I don’t think it’s fair to blame any teacher or administrator for low test scores. So many things play into a kid’s test scores. As a volunteer I’ve seen some really wild kids who can’t listen or sit long enough to learn anything worthwhile.

      I do think some principals scare their teachers and secretaries so not a whole lot of trust is happening. When an employee says ” you did not here this from me” then I know they are scared.

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