Washougal School District approves budget

$30.14 million general fund is 'reflective' of School Board priorities

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The Washougal School Board adopted its 2013-14 budget last week with little fanfare, a marked change from years past when cuts were more apparent.

Brian Wallace, business manager, described the spending plan as reflective of School Board priorities. Last year’s budget was $28.8 million. The current budget of $30.14 million is based on an estimated enrollment of 2,918 full-time equivalent students, 48 more than the budgeted enrollment for 2012-13.

“It is a fiscally responsible budget, and at the same time, increases resources that support technology integration, new curriculum, improved facilities, safety and staff development,” Wallace said.

The biggest change in the Washougal School District this fall is the addition of full-day kindergarten at Hathaway Elementary School.

Superintendent Dawn Tarzian and Hathaway Principal Laura Bolt are excited about the program, and have said full-day kindergarten will help enhance student learning from the start.

Other funding gains from the state include restoration of statewide certificated and classified salary reductions, Learning Assistance Program funding, and increases to transportation funding, and the per pupil rate for materials, supplies and operating costs.

Approximately $1.8 million will be dedicated to the minimum fund reserve, as per district policy.

“A minimum fund reserve policy is very important,” Wallace said. “Cash flow for Washington school districts is challenging.”