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School enrollment is force behind Enumclaw's $38 million budget

By Brenda Sexton, The Courier-Herald

With a wary eye toward the future, the Enumclaw School Board approved a $37.9 million general fund budget for the coming school year at its regular meeting Aug. 18.

The driving force behind the budget, director of business and operations Tim Madden told the school board, is student enrollment and it's on a decline. The district would rather underestimate the number of students it expects and be pleasantly surprised than to bank on those students and have to scramble to cover losses, superintendent Art Jarvis explained.

The district anticipates taking in $34 million in revenue, a 2.3 percent decrease from last year. Madden explained 55.8 percent of the district's revenue comes from the state. The next largest chunk, 18 percent, comes from local taxes. In addition to enrollment, the district will take a hit in the area of flexible education and a couple other areas for decreases totaling $843,000.

Classroom instruction is the district's largest expenditure with 70 percent of the budget covering items like teaching salaries and classroom supplies. The next largest piece of the financial pie, 17.38 percent, flows into building support like maintenance and food services.

Madden said the district is looking at a 1.49 percent increase in expenditures, mostly in teaching.

One audience member, Dick Hughes of Enumclaw, questioned the district cutting the budget so close to the quick.

Jarvis said the district was still in good shape, but would have to keep an eye on state funding and its own expenditures.

Along with the general fund budget, the board approved a $230,000 transportation vehicle fund; $400,000 capital projects fund budget; $4.35 million debt services budget; and $1 million Associated Student Body fund budget.

In other business, the board:

€ approved the expansion of the honorary diploma program for World War II veterans to include Korean War veterans.

€ announced school board meetings for the coming year: Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan. 20, Feb. 23, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19 and Aug. 21.

€ canceled outstanding checks totaling $204.

€ approved its strategic plan, a five-year guide outlining the district's values, believes and focuses for student learning.

€ hired high school teachers Levi Clinton, Charles Lund and Tim Berndt and Kibler Elementary teacher Brendon Hood.

€ accepted a resignation from high school teacher Dan White.

€ rehired Enumclaw High School athletic director Tim Tubbs.

€ granted a six-week leave of absence to Sunrise Elementary teacher Ann McGonalge.

€ changed Black Diamond Elementary teacher Debra Willard-Reid from a leave replacement to continuing contract.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at bsexton@courierherald.com

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