Community News

The School Board Thursday night got a first look at the tough choices ahead to keep the school district budget in balance.

he Anacortes School District administration presented a balanced budget proposal for the coming school year that includes some personnel cuts that total about nine positions as well as higher projected costs.

School Superintendent Chris Borges told the Board “We are moving forward even in this time with fiscal issues.” And, he added “The personnel cuts we see are a away from our students.”

School District Business and Finance Director Lisa Matthews called the budget “fiscally sound.”

Matthews said she projects food for school lunches will cost up to 15 percent more than last year. She also said she planned for diesel fuel at $6 per gallon. She told the Board that she was glad to see fuel prices easing in recent days.

Matthews said kindergarten classes would need to be cut, primarily because of less than expected kindergarten registrations.

The $28 million budget will be balanced by using some money already on hand to overcome a deficit of about $330,000. The District also plans on increased fees athletics, school lunches, facility usage and educational enrichment.

Borges told the board “We have not increased fees for ten years. Increases are overdue.” He suggested some athletics activities would be cut if there aren’t enough students, saying “Athletics activities will continue as long as there are students” interested.

The Board will vote on the budget following a public hearing at its next meeting on Thursday, August 21.

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