School board will adopt budget at next meeting

By Oliver Lazenby

Blaine school district board of directors are set to pass a budget for the 2016/2017 school year at their next meeting on Monday, August 22.

The proposed budget expects the district will start the school year with $2,433,044 in its general fund and end  with $1,861,516, a difference of $571,528.

The district anticipates collecting $26.69 million for its general fund during the school year and spending $27.26 million. General fund revenue comes from  property taxes and state funds and federal grants and funds.

Projected revenues and expenditures both increased by a little more than $1 million from the 2015/2016 budget. Much of that is due to state-mandated full-day kindergarten, which starts this year. School districts throughout Washington get extra state money to implement the program, but it will also have significant costs in terms of extra staff hours and curriculum and transportation costs.

“A significant portion of that increase in expenditures, I’d say the lion’s share, is due to all-day kindergarten,” Porter said.

Porter said extra state funds for full-day kindergarten will roughly cover the district’s costs for adding the program, though it’s hard to make a direct comparison. That’s because it’s not yet certain how much it will cost the district to have all day kindergarten. For example, the district hasn’t hired additional administrative staff this year to handle the increase in students, but they may decide to in the future.

The district is also reducing costs to students and families for participating in sports programs and for school supplies.

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