Blaine school district budget discussions begin

Published on Fri, Jul 8, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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It's that time of year again, and school districts across the county have begin discussing their budgets for the upcoming 2011/2012 school year. The Blaine school district is set to release a draft budget this Sunday with a public hearing on the budget scheduled for July 25, the board's next regular board meeting. The school board must approve the budget by the end of August.

I just got done with a brief email conversation with Blaine school district superintendent Ron Spanjer. Earlier this week, the school district entered into an agreement with the Blaine Education Association (BEA), which is the union that represents Blaine's certificated teachers. The agreement laid out how about $200,000 less in salary funding from the state will affect teachers' salaries.

The agreement says the district will rescind the 10 reduction in force (RIF) notifications it issued as part of the budget adjustment process, minus a halftime kindergarten teacher position that currently sits unfilled. Spanjer said the district will make a final decision on that position if kindergarten enrollment numbers are high enough in the fall. The BEA agreed to the loss of two teacher training days and the respective pay for those days for one year only.The group representing the district's school principals agreed earlier in the year to a 2.5 day reduction in their contract, again, for one year only. Spanjer said these agreements will be reconsidered next year.

Spanjer said negotiations with the Service Employees International Union, which represents the district's service staff, are still ongoing. The district issued 14 RIF notices to classified staff earlier in the year. Classified staff include library technicians and food service workers.
I will mostly likely include some of this information in a story on the school's budget planned for the upcoming issue.

Click here for a look at the memorandum of understanding between the district and the BEA (it's only one page).

Click here for my last story on the BSD budget process.


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