It looks like the School District will need to make some more budget cuts. After trimming about $500,000 earlier this year, School Superintendent Chris Borgen is moving to make more cuts.
Borgen, in a letter to the Anacortes School Board, says the school district now anticipates a larger shortfall this school year than earlier planned. He cites an “unexpected loss of 66 students below the projected budget for September.” And, he writes he expects further loss throughout the year based on historical trends.
Even though 18 new students came in early this month, Borgen is now predicting about 90-100 fewer students on average this year than last year.
Borgen’s letter to the School Board outlines the actions he’s taking to trim spending.
- Building and program budgets will be frozen by 20% at this time
- Freeze on all field trips, unless paid for out of grants, donations, or 100% student paid.
- Freeze on nonessential operating costs
- Freeze on all hiring, unless the position is deemed as essential
Borgen is also asking the School Board to allow him to use, on an emergency basis, $140,000 in the district’s reserve account, reducing the reserve account from five percent to 4.5 percent of the budget.
Schools will take new energy saving measures, including having computers hibernate after 30 minutes, shut off lights earlier in the day and adjust room temperatures. He is also suggesting delaying the planned purchase of one school bus for one school year, only purchasing two buses in the current year.
The School Board meets Thursday evening at 6:15 pm in the district board room at Anacortes Middle School.