Update March 31, 2023: The board has scheduled a work session on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 to continue discussion about possible districtwide budget reductions. The work session will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Zoom and in person at the Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506.
The Olympia School Board has scheduled a work session on March 30, and three community forums — one on March 28 and two more on April 10, to discuss and receive community feedback about a list of possible 2023-24 districtwide budget reductions.
The March 30 board work session will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Zoom, as well as in person at the Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA. While the board will not hear public comment at this work session, there will be an opportunity for attendees online and in-person to provide written feedback for the board to review.
The board will host three online community forums to receive public comment about budget reduction options. There will be no sign up for oral testimonies during the online community forums. Rather, attendees may join the forum and submit written questions or comments to the board during the Q&A portion.
The Knox 111 Administrative Center will be open at 5:50 p.m. before each of the three online forums for anyone who may not have access to Zoom and would like to watch the livestream in the boardroom. The Administrative Center is located at 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506.
Those unable to attend the three virtual forums may email questions or comments to OSD-BoardOfDirectors@osd.wednet.edu.
The Zoom link and other information for the online community forums are posted on the school district website and in BoardDocs.
- Tuesday, March 28, 6-8 p.m. on Zoom
- Monday, April 10, 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Zoom
The list of budget reduction options shared during the March 23, 2023 regular board meeting and updated on March 28, 2023 is posted on the district Budget webpage. The board also held a first reading during this meeting of Resolution 647: Necessity for and the extent of a Certified staff reduction for the 2023-2024 school year. The Budget webpage also features 2023-24 budget survey narrative responses and other financial information.
During the March 23 board meeting, the school board learned that based on the most current information from the Legislature, the Olympia School District is projected to have a maximum $11.5 million funding shortfall next year. This financial projection is improved from a recent deficit estimate of $13.9 million. This projection is subject to change once the Legislative session ends on April 23, 2023.
The shortfall is caused, in part, by long-term structural inequitable funding mechanisms (Regionalization, Staff Mix, low state salary allocations) and underfunded state or federal requirements (Special Education, Health Care, K-3 class size). The shortfalls are exacerbated by enrollment declines driven by the pandemic and the cessation of federal relief funding (ESSER).
Budget planning timeline and next steps
- Tuesday, March 28: School board hosts online community forum from 6-8 p.m. to receive public comments about budget reduction options for the 2023-24 school year.
- Thursday, March 30: School board holds work session from 6-8 p.m. to discuss 2023-24 districtwide budget reduction options. While the board will not hear public comment at this work session, there will be an opportunity for attendees online and in-person to provide written feedback for the board to review.
- Monday, April 10: School board hosts two online community forums — one from 3-5 p.m. and another from 6-8 p.m. — to receive public comments about budget reduction options.
- Tuesday, April 11: School board holds work session from 6-8 p.m. to continue discussion of 2023-24 districtwide budget reduction options.
- Thursday, April 13: The board is scheduled to hold a second reading of the Reduced Education Plan. The list of budget reduction options presented at this meeting will be refined from the list presented to the board on March 23 to reflect the most current projected budget shortfall.
- April 13 – May 15: In the event a reduction in force is necessary, affected OSD staff will be notified.
- May 15 – June 22: If the revenue outlook improves before the 2023-24 budget is approved by the school board on June 22, 2023, adjustments may be made to reductions approved on April 13, 2023.
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