Shoreline School District To Cut Staff, Programs, Possibly Close Schools
Citing lower enrollment, loss of Covid relief funds and the need to keep the coffers stocked at an already very low level according to Deputy Superintendent, Marla Miller, the district reached out to their administrators (principals, etc.) under the guise of a brainstorming session and is now using the responses of just 19 administrators as a framework for cuts that will seriously affect the classroom.
The study session recording can be found here: Vimeo channel
Deputy Superintendent, Marla Miller, didn't immediately respond to the following questions:
Question 1: I wanted to find out if the administrators that were asked for input on the attached General Fund Budget Reduction Input were made aware that their input would be used as a framework for budget cuts moving forward. Some administrators expected their input would be shared but others said they did not. I’m sorry for the confusion on that score and know it created some awkwardness. No one wants to have to make budget reduction recommendations - it is heart wrenching for anyone, and I’m sorry we didn’t have a longer timeline for the initial part of the process.
Question 2: Why were only administrators asked for input? Wouldn't it have been just as easy to send the survey link to the educators in the classroom that are more directly affected? This is the first step in a longer process to determine how to balance the budget. I expect to have an open invitation to those who would like to participate in later input/feedback processes, and it is possible to revise decisions up until the time the budget is finally adopted. We didn’t receive our state funding information until 4/28 (actually the last, significant part regarding enrollment stabilization - $2.7 million - was published 5/3/22, but after the board study session). We also monitor our kindergarten enrollment each week, and it became clear after spring break that we were not keeping pace with last year and appear to be well behind our projected kindergarten enrollment for the coming year. As you probably are aware, state law requires us to notify certificated staff by May 15th who may have their contracts reduced for next year; initially we expected any reductions to be fully offset by vacancies. With the additional loss of enrollment and final state funding information, the budget gap grew and we needed to put together a RIF recommendation for board approval. Principals and program administrators were invited for their initial input because they are responsible for implementing instructional and operational programs. I expect all staff and community members will be invited to provide input before the budget is balanced.
Question 3: What percentage do 19 respondents represent of total administrators (ie 20%)? We have 37 administrators (51% return).
Question 4: In which years have the district had to utilize the fund balance in the past? I’d have to go back and look at each year where the district budgeted for expenditures to exceed revenues. I’ve been with the District since 2012, and expect we’ve needed to use fund balance to balance the budget 3 - 5 times during that timeframe.
Question 5: There were no transportation costs and the district received funds from state and federal sources during the pandemic. What was that money spent on and why didn't it increase the fund balance? We actually had significant transportation costs (and other operational costs) throughout the pandemic, due in part because we did not layoff any staff but rather kept them in “furlough” status and paid full insurance benefits throughout regardless of whether we were in operation or received any funding. We also used transportation staff to assist with the delivery of food and instructional materials to schools for pick up by families. We started running transportation to bring students to school in February 2021 and had full costs for half of that year and all of this year. I’ve provided the Board with updates on our use of ESSER funds, and will send the last version to you if you are interested (and I get a little time to pull it up).
What most of the public isn't cognizant of is that many of the non-teaching staff are used to cover classrooms because the lack of substitute teachers is critical. Not a single day goes by where the educators, staff, subs, and even the administrators are having to creatively pivot and juggle to keep classrooms covered. Losing any staff will create a classroom crisis.
Regular School Board Meeting
May 10, 20226:00 PM - 8:00 PM
The Shoreline School Board will hold a Regular Board Meeting on Tuesday, May 10, at 6:00 pm. The meeting will be held in person at 6:00 pm in the Shoreline Room, Shoreline Center (18560 1st Ave. NE) and streamed via Zoom. The links to join by Zoom and to see the full meeting agenda are below.
The presentation and action items for the board meeting are:
- Ethnic Studies Update (Instructional Implementation and Professional Development)
- School Board Director Area Redistricting: Identification of Map for Recommended Adoption on May 24
- Adoption of Resolution 2022-3, Non-Supervisory and Supervisory Certificated Employee Reduction Authorization for the 2022-2023 Contract Year
If you would like to provide written public comment for the regular board meeting, you can do so by filling out this online form by 12:00 pm on Tuesday, May 10, and it will be provided to the Board. There will also be a live public comment period during the meeting for those who attend in person or via Zoom.
Link to agenda:
Link to meeting:
Webinar ID: 895 5430 9262
Dial-In Phone Numbers: 1-253-215-8782 or 1-669-900-6833