The Issaquah School District is in the midst of its 2013-14 budget planning process. The good news is that—unlike many districts statewide that have had to cut millions of dollars from their budgets in recent years even before the state's major reductions to education funding—we have remained financially solvent. This is the result of:
- Consistently accurate and conservative student projections
- Steady financial belt tightening wherever possible (such as shrinking non-classroom services and decreasing the number of bus routes)
- Operational efficiencies (Issaquah has the lowest percentage of administrative costs of all King County school districts)
- The generosity of our community (the Issaquah Schools Foundation and PTSAs contribute more than $1.5 million to schools annually)
- Conservative expenditures, contracts, and reserve management
- An increase in our local Maintenance and Operations levy lid which has allowed more local dollars to directly support classrooms
While we have a broad-based plan and dates for the budget process, much of the finer details will be determined by legislators, who must simultaneously meet the state supreme-court mandate to fully fund basic education while facing a $900 million revenue shortfall for the 2013-15 biennium (coming on the heels of $16-million in revenue cuts that the state has made to the Issaquah School District the last four school years). As a result, we are in somewhat of a "wait and see" mode until the final state budget is released.
For the next several months, we will closely monitor the legislative session, and the District will continue to provide information to both lawmakers as they create the state budget and to our local community advocates who are asking legislators to make public education a priority.
In the meantime, we invite community and staff members to send us ideas and suggestions for stretching our operational dollars. Creative thinking is always welcome-whether in a budget-cutting situation or otherwise, we strive to operate smartly and preserve as much funding as possible for the classroom. Please e-mail us your ideas. We might not be able to respond to each suggestion individually, but all will be captured and considered by administrators.
Critical dates affecting budget planning
Check back for exact dates as the legislative session progresses
- January-August 2013: Budget process tracked with updates on district website
- February 13, 2013: Issaquah School Board adopts Budget Development Guidelines.
- April 28, 2013: Legislature adopts state budget (SINE DIE).
- April 30, 2013: Superintendent's budget review and program reductions announced as needed.
- June-August, 2013: Five-member Financial Advisory Core Team (FACT) members identified (Board, principal, certificated, classified and PTSA reps to be named); team begins to meet to review budget development.
- June/July, 2013: District completes budget.
- August 14, 2013: School Board holds a public hearing on the proposed 2013-2014 District budget.
- August 28, 2013: School Board adopts 2013-2014 budget (state law mandates the budget be complete by August 31).