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Enumclaw School District awaits bad budget news

Waiting.

That’s what the Enumclaw School District is doing when it comes to the state budget, Superintendent Mike Nelson told the Enumclaw School Board during its meeting April 18.

The governor, House of Representatives and Senate have released versions of a biennial budget and school districts across the state are holding their breath as the parties build consensus. That effort failed during the planned 120-day session, so legislators are now going into overtime to hammer out a two-year spending plan.

“In all my years I’ve never seen three budgets so far apart,” Nelson said.

Any of the three or a combination is expected to cost the Enumclaw School District between $500,000 and $1 million.

“We know there will be a reduction,” Nelson said, noting the delay is making planning difficult. “We hope it is on the smaller end.”

School districts across the state are feeling the heat.

During the meeting, the board signed a resolution to support the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools, which is fighting with the state to fund education.

NEWS joined two public school families in the McCleary v. State case to sue the state for violating its paramount duty to amply fund K-12 education. The Superior Court final judgement in that case ruled the state was not amply funding education. The state is appealing to the Washington State Supreme Court.

“It’s a battle, but one that we think is worth fighting,” Board President Chris VanHoof said.

In other business, the board:

• accepted $14,500 in donations from the Muckleshoot Tribe for various programs at Enumclaw schools.

• declared Monday through May 6 as certificated staff appreciation week.

• accepted resignations from district office executive secretary Brenda Klemann, Thunder Mountain Middle School custodian Willie Uhde and EHS paraeducator Roxanne Burke.

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