Snoqualmie Valley school board approves $108 million operating budget, includes $1.6 million deficit

On August 27th the SVSD school board approved the district’s 2019-20 [approximate] $108 million operating budget that includes some fee reductions for families, along with covering SAT testing costs for all SVSD seniors.

The 2019-20 budget came in approximately $1.6 million in the red, which will be covered this year by district reserve funds and draw that ‘rainy day fund’ down to about $9.9 million.

A new state mandate that part-time employees be given district-funded benefits – once only offered to full-time employees – will account for much of the deficit. Recent salary increases also are contributing to the deficit.

A positive for families is the district said there will be a significant reduction in school fees charged at the secondary level this year – primarily at the high school level.

According to the SVSD announcement, “As a stated goal of both the 2018 Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy and the School Board, the district is excited to announce these reductions. Many lab and class fees, as well as fees for consumables and planning agendas, have been eliminated.”

The costs will now be paid for by state basic education funding. Extracurricular costs are not considered state funding so extracurricular and club fees will remain unchanged. Certain class fees related to program enhancements or materials that individual students keep after the class or activity is complete will also remain intact.   

The district-funded senior SAT – and the PSAT for other grades – testing day will happen on Super Wednesday, October 16th

SVSD’s food services operations is projected to be $600,000 in the red for the upcoming school year, so meal prices will be raised slightly, which has not happened for about seven years. Only prices at secondary-level will increase. Lunches, for example, will cost 25 cents more.

As required by the state, districts must now provide OSPI (Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction) estimated, 4-year operating budgets forecasts. SVSD’s forecast budget for 2020-21 includes $2 million in operating cuts. Those potential reductions will be evaluated, though, during next year’s budget work.

Snoqualmie Valley School Board President Carolyn Simpson commented, “Our board is committed to prioritizing our budgets to advance our mission of educating all students for college, career, and citizenship. We have entered a new era of funding and spending and much is still unknown. We acknowledge that we are projecting a deficit this year. We know that budget deficits are not not sustainable, but rather than over-reacting, considering the unknowns, we are proceeding carefully. We will monitor the situation in 2019/20 and will react accordingly, if needed for future years. “

See all fee reductions and meal increases HERE.

Snoqualmie Valley Schools District Office.

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