Please join me for coffee Saturday, November 8th, at Mystic Mountain Coffee in Kingston. I’ll be there from 8:30 until 10:30 and you can stop by anytime to chat. The election is over and it looks like I1351 on class size has passed making it more challenging for our legislators to fully fund education as they have been ordered to do by the Supreme Court. I can share data on our district’s class sizes where there has been significant improvement over last year thanks to the generosity of our community and passage of the levy last February. Hope to see you Saturday.
Firstly, a look at the precinct-by-precinct vote counts results of the primary election, I am humbled and encouraged that NKSD voters gave me winning totals in 32 of the 36 precincts. Thank you for your support.
Looking forward to the general election, I pledge to get around to talking to as many of you as possible between now and then. I want your input about what you need and what you want to see in our school district. Your input will be used to develop community-driven strategies to build learning experiences for all of our students. Two of the themes that I have heard so far are:
Communication for transparency and to engage the community –district actions need to be understood by the community and the district needs to understand what the community needs and values.
Smaller class sizes – in elementary grades this is important to engage all student and in secondary grades this is important to offer a diverse, variety of classes and activities including music, art and athletics.
I look forward to hearing and learning more so I can have a strong basis to guide my work with NKSD. — Beth Worthington
North Kitsap School District has published their budget for 2013-14 school year in advance of a public hearing scheduled for August 8th from 7:00-9:00 at the district office. The public is also welcome to attend a study session on the budget that will be held prior to the hearing from 6:00 – 7:00.
The following are my questions to the district regarding the 2013-14 budget. What are your questions? Forward them to the district and attend the public hearing.
Regarding increased state funding –
Information: The July 11, 2013 presentation included increased state funding for MSOC of $960K and for Transportation of $308K. Presumably, the district spends more than the states allocation for MSOC and Transportation and uses other funds (i.e., levy) to make up the difference.
Conclusion: There will be an equivalent amount of money ($906K + $308K = $1.214M) to spend on other district priorities.
Question: Where is the $1.214M being allocated for next year?
Information: The July 11, 2013 presentation indicated that the net decrease in Certificated FTE is 8.5. Therefore, the proposed total Certificated FTE is expected to be 345.8 for 2013-14, which is 354.3 FTE of the current level presented on May 6 less 8.5. It was stated that this 8.5 reduction in FTE from last year is matched by the expected enrollment decline.
Question: Could you provide an update to 2013-2014 Proposed Educational Program that was prepared by Chris Willits dated May 6, 2013?
Conclusion: Since the reduction in 8.5 FTE is matched to the predicted decline in enrollment of 200 students, nominally, the community should expect that class sizes will not be increased over last year’s levels.
Question: Could you provide your estimate of the expected class sizes for next year?
Information: The July 11,2013 presentation indicated that Wolfle K-1 will be staffed higher than what it was last year at a targeted class size of 20 – due to availability of state funding for that specific purpose. Additionally because of state funding, there will be an increase in LAP staffing.
Question: How is staffing going to increase for LAP? Is that allocated to the schools?
Conclusion: Since the district had already realized their proposed reduction in staffing of 27.3 FTE, it would be expected that hiring will occur before next year. Nominally, that would be (27.3-8.5=18 FTE).
Question: What have you determined are the positions that need to be hired for next year?
Regarding Fund Balance –
Information: The board adopted a resolution 07-12-13 on April 11, 2013 to systematically, over-time increase the fund balance. The proposed level for the end of 2013-2014 is 3.5% – which is 0.5% larger than the fund balance for the end of this year. The presentation made on July 11, 2013 indicates that the size of this committed fund balance is $1.863 M for the end of this year and $2.229 M for the end of next year.
Questions: How is the fund balance calculated (percentage of what)? Is this projected to be met? Why is this important?
Regarding Maintenance/Equipment Costs –
Information: The board voted on July 11, 2013 to replace the roof at Vinland Elementary for an expected cost of $447K. The Preliminary Budget also presented on July 11, 2013 shows a budget of $1.603M for 64 Activity of Maintenance of Buildings/Equipment.
Question: How will the Vinland Roof Repair impact the 2013-2014 budget?
Question: Is there a dictionary that includes definition of the various activities used in the budget? Can you provide that?
Question: What is the basis for the districts building maintenance budget? Are their predictions of future roof repairs?
Reduction in the number of teachers, larger class sizes for next year, and weakened public trust are common themes shared by North Kitsap and South Kitsap School Districts. An article in the Kitsap Sun describes Dr. Michelle Reid’s plan. The approach includes: face-to-face meetings, forums, social networking and posting documents to the district’s website. What can North Kitsap leverage from this approach?