Without a change in state revenue projections or a legislative solution to the McCleary “fix” in this legislative session, Vancouver Public Schools will need to address an $11.44 million budget shortfall forecast for the 2019-20 school year.
“The challenges in front of VPS are not unique or unexpected,” said Superintendent Steve Webb. “Districts across Clark County and Washington state face the same predicament. This is a direct result of flawed legislation passed in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that the state must provide full funding for K-12 education.”
Initial budget cuts for the 2019-20 school year will be made through reductions in the district’s central administrative services.
Recommended reductions include:
- Five district-level administrative positions
- Fifteen teacher-on-special-assignment positions providing instruction and classroom support for curriculum and instructional technology
- Five percent cut to central office and support service hourly staff positions, and materials, supplies and operating costs in 2019-20
Central administrative services reductions are expected to save $3.9 million.
“These valued employees provide essential leadership that supports teaching and learning for our students and their families, which makes these decisions extremely difficult,” said Webb. “For the affected team members, this news is devastating. I know they are passionate about pursuing our district’s vision for equity and excellence, and we are committed to supporting them during this transition.”
Teachers on special assignment will have the opportunity to return to the classroom.
Overall, the projected $11.44 million budget shortfall for 2019-20 will be addressed in the following manner:
- One-third of the solutions—approximately $3.75 million—will be generated from an estimated $1.5 million in reductions in spending for the remainder of this school year and$2.25 million from the 2019-20 fund balance. Because this is one-time money, that part of the shortfall must be addressed again in the 2020-21 budget.
- One-third of the solutions—an estimated $3.9 million—will be in cost savings from district-level administrative employee reductions.
- One-third of the solutions—an estimated $3.79 million—will be generated through school-based reductions yet to be determined.
Further budget updates based on enrollment forecasts, current state budget implications, annual teacher vacancy averages and one-year teacher contracts will be presented at the Feb. 12 school board meeting.