Washougal School District passes budget

Reduced spending plan includes staff, administration cuts

The Washougal School Board has passed a $27 million budget for the 2011-12 school year, which is just slightly less than last year.

“We are confronted by the requirements from the state (to pass a balanced budget),” Superintendent Dawn Tarzian said. “We’re trying to put anything extra into the areas where revenue has been cut off or moved. Either the state needs to fund us at a level for our program, or we’ll have to charge the future.”

Business manager Rosann Lassman said that completing the budget for the coming school year has been a challenge.

However, the district did manage to keep 6 percent of the budget in a reserve fund, which Lassman said is essential. She gave the example of when the state was late deciding on a 2011-12 budget, she didn’t have to worry about the potential of having to borrow money to make payroll, because it was in a reserve fund.

“I am a staunch supporter of having a minimum fund balance,” she said. “Some other districts only have 2 to 3 percent, and I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes right now.”

The ending fund balance is expected to be approximately $3.4 million, approximately one-half a million less than the prior year due to the need to cover budget reductions.

Other budget highlights include:

o Leave assistant superintendent position empty, change to a curriculum director: $32,248 savings

o Reduce certified staff by 1.85 full time equivalency (four staff members), reduce provisional staff by 4.25 full time equivalency (six staff members) and adjust staff to meet class sizes: $501,000 savings

o Restructure classified positions in special services and transportation offices: $62,977 savings