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Enumclaw School Board approves 2009-10 budget

With reductions already made and the school year set to begin, the Enumclaw School Board approved a $43.5 million operating budget at its Aug. 17 regular meeting.

District leaders have been discussing the budget since the state announced huge shortfalls in January. With $2 million in cuts made by eliminating staff positions, scaling back full-day kindergarten and doing away with sixth-grade camp, adopting the final budget was a formality. A public hearing drew no comments from the audience.

According to Business Manager Randy Stocker, when all is said and done, he expects to finish the 2009-10 fiscal year with a $1.7 million deficit, but still have $1.9 million in reserves, close to the 5 percent level the state encourages all school districts to carry.

Stocker said another dip in enrollment, projected to be a loss of 70 students, does not help. But, on the bright side, the district, which receives some funding through its partnership with the Muckleshoot Tribal School, anticipates growth there when the tribe opens the doors to its new facility.

The district will receive stabilization and stimulus money. The stabilization funds will be used to backfill losses, Stocker noted, and federal stimulus money has strings attached.

In addition to the general fund, which covers basic education needs, the budget also includes separate categories for transportation, capital projects, debt service and the Associated Student Body.

In other business, the board:

• accepted a donation of $6,000 from the Muckleshoot Charitable Fund to Enumclaw and Thunder Mountain middle schools for sixth-grade camp. Parents are undertaking a campaign to foot the bill this fall for a shorter version of the popular outdoor education program.

• approved Medosweet as its choice to provide dairy products to schools.

• waived fees for senior citizens to attend school district events.

• approved the 2009-10 part-time, temporary and substitute salary schedule.

• entered an inter-local agreement for purchasing with the Northshore School District. Stocker explained the Northshore district has established a competitive selection for Energy Service Companies to negotiate performance-based contracts with contractors selected from a pre-qualified list. He said by piggybacking with Northshore, the district stands a better chance to get in line for funding. The partnership is already paying off, he pointed out. The district applied for, and received, a grant to provide $100,000 for roofing at Southwood Elementary School.

• accepted the retirement of Thunder Mountain teacher Tim Nelson.

• transfered teacher Mathew Gaynor from Southwood to Thunder Mountain.

• accepted the resignation of Enumclaw High School paraeducator Brandon Johnson and assistant groundskeeper Justin Bray.

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