CKSD 2012-13 Budget Development

Budget Development Timeline


CKSD 2012-13 Budget Development

January Budget Meetings


The January staff meetings and community forums were very well-attended. They involved a combined 542 participants! Thank you for your support.


Feedback from these events will be an important factor as the budget process moves forward.   We shared this feedback during a school board study session, including the results of three input activities. These activities required participants to identify the programs and positions they would choose to fund first with up to 50 points ($5 million). All decisions were based on a list of items not funded or not fully funded by the state.


Three result summaries were generated: (1) Individual feedback forms; (2) “Dot” activity; and (3) Group feedback forms. As you’ll see, staff and community members universally acknowledged that reductions would have to be made.


To view the data behind the summaries, please see the Individual Rankings, Top Three Selections, Group Activity Rankings and the Data Summary.


It’s important to note that these activities were not intended as vote. Instead, they were meant to help us identify priorities. We developed an online survey based on these priorities. The survey was open February 21-27. Please click on the "Budget Survey Results" tab to learn more.


CKSD 2012-13 Budget Development

Budget Survey Results


Participation in the recent online budget survey was outstanding, with a total of 1,177 responses!


The online budget survey results were shared during the school board study session on March 8. Individual responses varied, but it was clear that participants considered all programs and positions to be important. Overall, respondents acknowledged that they don’t want to make further cuts in any areas.


As we look deeper into the survey data, we find the following:


  • Secondary Interventions
    Of the items formerly funded by I-728 (elementary class size, secondary interventions and all day kindergarten), respondents identified secondary interventions as most important.

  • Library Program Staffing
    Considering secondary staffing, library program staffing, and the co-curricular program, respondents chose library program staffing as least willing to reduce in order to keep I-728 items.

  • Learning Specialists
    Considering technology, maintenance/grounds staffing, learning specialists, elementary band/orchestra and custodial staffing, respondents identified learning specialists as least willing to reduce in order to keep I-728 items.


Results from this survey are helping to guide us as we develop options for 2012-13. In the meantime, we value your support and involvement in this process. Thank you for sharing your feedback and suggestions. Together we make a difference!

CKSD 2012-13 Budget Development

Budget Development


The 2012-13 budget was adopted during the school board meeting on Wednesday, August 22, 2012. Thank you for your participation in the budget process. Together we make a difference!


Your overwhelming support of the January budget forums gave us a better understanding of what's important to you. Based on your feedback, we developed an online budget survey. The results of this survey helped guide us as we finished developing budget options for the 2012-13 school year.

For more information, please click on the tabs above to view other important dates, budget-related links and frequently asked questions.

CKSD 2012-13 Budget Development

Frequently Asked Questions


Our initial estimated budget shortfall for 2012-13 was $6.3 million. As of May 2012, this estimated deficit has been reduced to $700,000 - $1.1 million. This decrease is due to the supplemental levy and favorable state budget projections. Please click on the "Timeline" tab for important budget development dates.


  1. Does CKSD have a shortfall for this year?
    The budget for this year was approved in August 2011 and is not in question. The current shortfall affects the budget for next year (2012-13). Given current data, we are projecting an estimated shortfall of $6.3 million.

  2. Why is next year’s budget shortfall so big?
    The estimated shortfall of $6.3 million for 2012-13 is our largest ever. This deficit is the result of cuts in state and federal funding and declining enrollment. Proposed state reductions to K-12 education, estimated at $3.8 million, account for more than half the projected shortfall. The loss of federal Heavy Impact funds accounts for another significant portion ($2.0 million).

  3. What is the budget process for prioritizing programs and positions?
    We began this year’s budget process in the fall with a series of community forums, where we shared an initial budget forecast for 2012-13. The community budget forums in January were designed as an opportunity for students, staff, parents and community members to help us begin to gather input that will be used to eventually formulate a prioritized list of items for reduction or elimination. These forums will be followed by an online budget survey conducted in February, to further refine our community’s budget priorities. This spring, the Community Finance Committee will draw from this input as it works with the superintendent to provide budget reduction options to the school board.

  4. Will items currently funded by the school support levy be impacted by the budget shortfall?
    Yes. Many levy items have been supplemented over the last few years by state funds (Local Effort Assistance/LEA) and federal funds (Heavy Impact). These funding sources have been eliminated, so the items they’ve supported will be impacted. The state does not fully fund any of our employee positions; all positions have been partially paid through a combination of LEA, levy, and Heavy Impact funds.

  5. What criteria are used when looking at which programs to cut or trim?
    The board criteria used for school closure and program review will be applied to the analysis of the positions and programs and used by the Community Finance Committee, the Budget Development Team and the Task Force Resource Steering Committee to help develop options.

  6. How much would CKSD save by increasing elementary class sizes?
    An increase of one student per class amounts to between $100,000 and $122,000 for each grade.

  7. Will the district consider charging fees for science labs or other courses?
    Fees are currently charged for some elective courses at the high school.  We cannot charge fees for required courses.

  8. Will there be another Reduction In Force (RIF)?  How will it compare to last year’s RIF?
    Given the magnitude of the budget deficit, it is more likely than not that there will be a RIF. The certainty and size of a potential RIF are impacted by several factors:
    -- number of staff members who retire, resign or go on leave
    -- restoration of Heavy impact funding
    -- result of the Supplemental School Support Levy election
    -- state budget cuts and revenue initiatives
    -- student enrollment
    Some of these factors will not be clear until late this spring. State law requires school districts to issue RIF notices to teachers by May 15. If the budget outlook improves after that, the district can recall staff as needed.

  9. Without Heavy Impact funding, can we complete everything on the technology list? How will this be communicated to the community?
    We are in the process of determining how this loss will affect items funded by the Capital Projects Levy. We do anticipate some changes. We will communicate these changes on our website, during a Quarterly Program Review with a group of citizen experts and in a written report to our community in June.

  10. Why did we use Heavy Impact funds for ongoing General Fund expenses?
    Heavy Impact funding was used in the General Fund in order to deliver the best education possible within resource constraints by protecting programs and staff. When I-728 funds were eliminated by the state, we used Heavy Impact funds to continue supporting elementary class size, interventions and All Day Kindergarten. Those funds will be gone in the 2012-13 budget.

  11. Why can’t we just cut more administrators and administration?
    Over the past five years, we have reduced administrators by 7.5 percent and administration (administrators and support staff at Jenne-Wright) by 12 percent. These reductions are significantly and deliberately larger than reductions in our schools in an effort to protect our classrooms from further reductions. Additional administrators and administration are included in positions not funded by the state. Responsibilities and functions for these staff were not reduced, and current staff members have added additional work in order to keep the reductions as far away from the classroom as possible. 


  12. What is the purpose of the furlough day, and what does it accomplish?
    For the 2011-12 school year, the state reduced all salary and benefit allocations by 1.9 percent for certificated (teacher) and classified (non-teacher support) positions. The state also reduced administrator salary and benefit allocations by 3 percent. The current furlough days (7 days of half-day furloughs) allow for 3.5 days of non-paid time for teachers. Classified staff lost 2.0 days of pay during furlough days and gave up money from their negotiated collective bargaining agreement to cover the other 1.5 days. Administrators have furloughed 5.5 days over the course of the year to account for their loss of salary and benefits. CKSD staff members are NOT paid during each of the half day furloughs. The furlough offsets the loss of funding from the state by approximately $800,000 - $1,000,000.

  13. Will recommendations from the School Configuration Committee help with the 2012-13 budget?
    No. Changes could be implemented as early as the 2013-14 school year, but not in time to help with next year’s budget.

  14. How does CKSD justify building a new Jackson Park when we may need to close an elementary as a result of configuration?
    Replacement of Jackson Park was identified as the most critical project funded by the Capital Projects Levy. Its present condition is well documented in the CKSD Long Range Facilities Plan. These funds are part of our Capital Projects budget and may not be used in the General Fund to solve our current budget shortfall.

  15. Could CKSD implement a four-day school week?
    The Washington State Legislature has allowed a few small districts (≈200 students) in the state to pilot a four-day student week this year.  One larger district (≈2,000 students) is looking at this possibility and working with lawmakers to get the needed legislation passed. Currently, there is no law allowing districts to operate under a four-day week. Considerations include impacts on student achievement, support departments and co-curricular programs. Savings would include up to 20% in salary and benefit costs (Transportation and Food Services) and 10-12% in utilities costs and bus fuel. 

  16. Can the Department of Defense Education Activities grant be used to pay classified staff to help struggling students?
    Only 25% of the grant may be allocated for staff salaries. This portion of the grant is committed to support All Day Kindergarten at Jackson Park and Clear Creek elementary schools.

  17. Why did the school board decide to place a Supplemental Levy measure before voters?
    Over the past five years, we have managed shortfalls totaling $14.6 million, but we’ve never faced a one-year shortfall of this magnitude. Our current $6.3 million deficit is too large to solve with small cuts here and there. After years of reductions, we have nowhere left to turn. Our school board feels strongly that it’s time for our community to weigh in. This levy will not solve our current shortfall entirely, but it would minimize the impact of the budget deficit.

  18. Could the district save money by reducing or eliminating its smaller, alternative schools?
    Our Alternative Program includes two high schools, one junior high, an off campus program that serves home school families, and an on-line learning program. The state considers each site a “school” for the purpose of measuring student performance. These programs are housed in separate facilities but do not cost significantly more to the district than they would if they were housed inside other schools. Without our Alternative Program, many of these students would not attend school. Currently, we do not have a single facility that would easily house all the alternative programs in one place.

  19. Doesn’t the state fully fund education?
    No. According to our state constitution, “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders ...” On January 5, 2012, the state Supreme Court ruled that legislators are violating the constitution by failing to fully fund K-12 public education. Our state does not provide school districts with much of the funding needed for required expenses and staffing. The state has also created many funding inequities among school districts. In McCleary v. State of Washington, the Court directed legislators to complete the job of fully funding public education by 2018 and also warned them against making cuts in the meantime. The regular legislative session began on January 9, 2012, and is scheduled to end on March 8, 2012. We will not know until then how the final state budget will affect K-12 education in our state.

  20. What is Heavy Impact (HI) funding?
    Heavy Impact (HI) is federal funding given to school districts with large military populations. The federal government doesn’t pay property taxes. However, local property taxes are an important source of school funding. HI offsets this loss of revenue. CKSD was the only district statewide to receive HI.

  21. Why is our qualification for Heavy Impact suspended?
    CKSD does not meet the current qualification to maintain a local levy rate collection at or above 95 percent of the state average. This is the result of a levy amount decision made by the district back in 2001, coupled with a significant and unforeseen change in assessed value across the nation during 2004-2008. Other districts across the state are now collecting up to 28 percent of their operating budgets through levy funds. We restricted our levy amount to just 18 percent.

  22. How much do we receive in Heavy Impact Aid?
    Over the last five years, CKSD received just under $8 million per year. Funds are split between General Fund ($4.4 million) and Capital Projects (between $2.5 and $3.9 million).

  23. Will we ever get this funding back?
    Based on current legislation, we will be eligible to reapply for funding again in 2014 and could receive a HI payment in 2015.

  24. How will the loss of these funds impact our organization?
    -- We have depleted our Federal Contingency Reserve.
    -- Our beginning fund balance for the 2011-12 year is lower than usual.
    -- Cash flow will be critically low by June 2012. We have virtually no financial flexibility.
    -- In June, our preliminary budget for 2011-12 included $3.2 million in cuts. Additional reductions totaling just over $1.0 million are now necessary in order to meet state legal requirements and board policy.

  25. What action is CKSD taking to recover the Heavy Impact funds?
    We appealed the determination by the Department of Education (DoE) that we were not eligible for Heavy Impact funds. DoE initially denied the appeal, but has changed its mind and allowed us access to an Administrative Law Judge to review the case. DoE has also dropped its position that our appeal was not timely. The appeal is now in process.

    We have also been working closely with Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks to attach an amendment to the Impact Aid language. The amendment would provide at least two years of Heavy Impact payments to CKSD. Impact Aid, including the changes recommended by CKSD, is currently part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The ESEA is scheduled to be reauthorized by the United States Congress but has not yet reached the floor of either chamber. Our legislators continue to work closely with us to restore Heavy Impact funding.

  26. What initial reductions were made for the 2011-12 school year and as we plan for 2012-13?
    -- Freeze carryover budgets
    -- Restrict access to supply budgets
    -- Hold some budgets until October 1 enrollment counts
    -- Prepare possible reductions in some staffing areas that could be implemented based on October enrollment
    -- Begin the year with substitute staff and make adjustments to match enrollments (this could result in making or eliminating splits at the elementary level and closing or combining courses at secondary school