Blaine school district commissioners gave their final imprimatur on the district’s 2012-2013 budget in a 5-0 vote.
The district anticipates spending $21,724,802 this school year, an increase of $720,554 or 3.4 percent, over last year’s budget. District superintendent Ron Spanjer, who is starting his seventh year in Blaine, told commissioners that the budget included funding items that had been waiting a long time to be done. He added that the ending total fund balance would be $1,310,762, which would mean the district had achieved a board mandate of holding back 6 percent in reserves.
“We’ve been trying to get back to this level of reserves for a few years,” he said.
Spanjer was cautiously optimistic about the state of educational funding, telling board members he believed the funding crunch the district had experienced in the last few years should ease up for a year or two. “Passing that levy has been a big help,” he said.
In other district news, operations supervisor Jim Kenoyer presented the board with an overview of summer construction on the district campus. All of the summer capital projects are substantially complete, he said. “Everything is up and running. We just have a few details to finish up.”
Improvements included new furnaces, heating control software, classroom projectors and security cameras, for example.
Kenoyer also told the board that the football stadium was being gussied up in anticipation of Friday’s opening football game.
Parents and students will find getting in and out of the district’s south parking lot somewhat more difficult this year. The district is implementing a bus-only lane from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. This means vehicles will be unable to enter the parking lot during this period. Spanjer told the board that the district would encourage parents to pick up their children on the H Street side of campus, saying there were too many students disgorging from school and mixing up with bus and car traffic.
As is their practice, the board opened up the meeting with a good news segment provided by athletic director Wayne Vezzetti, who acknowledged the athletic accomplishments of Cherish Morrison. He quoted track coach Mike Grambo, who said,
“Morrison had one of the most unbelievable careers of any student-athlete in Washington state.” The track star finished high school with 16 medals, 14 of which were gold medals. Morrison left Blaine last week to run track at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Vezzetti told board members that the athletic department was going to put Morrison’s photo, jersey and a list of her accomplishments on the wall outside the gym alongside other notable athletes such as Luke Ridnour.