School board to revisit budget cuts on
By Pat Grubb
The Blaine school district board of directors will hold a special meeting May 8 to further discuss possible program reductions in the upcoming school year. Due to decreased enrollment and lack of funding for state-mandated programs, the district is expecting a shortfall of well over $600,000 in anticipated revenue versus the budget.
This will be the second meeting held to discuss the upcoming budget. The first meeting, held in late April, attracted a large crowd of teachers looking to provide input on cuts. District administrators have circulated a form in which educators can comment on proposed cutbacks. According to district superintendent Ron Spanjer, speaking at a board meeting held Monday night in Point Roberts, over 40 responses have already been received and they anticipate more before the May 8 meeting. “We can count on lots and lots of comments from individuals as well as groups,” Spanjer told board members. “There are no easy or simple solutions when it comes to program reductions.”
Spanjer gave the board a reference sheet highlighting common concerns and the district’s current thinking in response. For example, one concern was why the district felt it necessary to have a 6 percent reserve fund when other districts got by on less.
Looking ahead, Spanjer told the board, “I think it is just a matter of time to see that Blaine is not unique vis-à-vis other districts’ program reductions,” adding that Blaine is just the first district to have to go through the process.
The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the district office at 765 H Street.