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March 11, 2016

Budget Update - Operating Costs of New Schools

In discussing the budget for 2016-17, I have mentioned the added costs to operate the two new schools, Sage Crest and Chinook, which will open next year. The scope of added costs to the budget is broad, including various staff and non-staff costs. It is expected that the increased operating cost to add the two new schools will approach $4.0M for a school year.

Sage Crest Elementary will require an additional 23.0 new certificated staff positions in addition to co-curricular contracts and stipends for teachers.

On the other hand, not all the teaching staff at Chinook are added positions to the District. A majority of the Chinook teaching positions are offset from reducing positions at the other four middle schools where enrollment will be reduced. However, there are at least 8.0 new certificated positions at Chinook for a Principal and two Assistant Principal positions, two counselors, a librarian, and a music teacher, among others. In addition, there are added costs associated with extra-curricular athletic coaching and co-curricular contracts. 

New classified positions at both the new schools include secretaries, para educators, custodians, and a security officer position at Chinook.  Other classified positions that need to be added district-wide due to the new schools include grounds staff for field and landscaping upkeep, warehouse staff to address added delivery routes, food service workers to provide meal service, and bus drivers for the added bus routes.

Increased non-staff costs include the utility costs for each school which include about $60K for an elementary and $120K for a middle school, and increased district insurance costs for insuring the new buildings along with their furniture and equipment.

We are still reviewing requests to add other staff positions that improve the district’s ability to better serve students who will be spread out over more schools.  These positions include additional special education staff and nursing staff.

We are looking forward to bringing these new schools online as smoothly as possible.  Careful budgeting will enable us to do so without disrupting all the services that we currently provide for students.

Today, I had planned to talk about the final results of this Legislative session, but the Legislature was unable to complete their work within the 60 day session.  Governor Inslee called a special session last night, and the Legislature will now return to Olympia to complete their supplemental budget.  When that is done, I will update you on the final results.

Vic Roberts
Director of Business Operations

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