Northwest NEWS

January 24, 2000

Editorial

Guest Editorial

School District adjusts its budget and staffing for 2000-2001

   As you may know, the Northshore School District is making budget adjustments for next year. A number of factors have contributed to this need:   While the district consciously decided to use reserves to help address these issues, we can no longer afford to do so. It is time to bring our staff in line with our enrollment.

   The district administration is currently preparing a staffing model that will support a balanced budget. Together with controls on discretionary spending, it will restore the district's fund balance to a fiscally responsible level. But most importantly, the staffing model will enable Northshore to adapt to changes in student enrollment on an annual basis.

   We never know for sure how many students we will have until schools open their doors in September. There is strong likelihood that enrollment will continue to decline as it appears to be doing in a number of Eastside school districts. We believe the increased cost of housing factors heavily in the enrollment drop this year.

   After listening to community and staff feedback on a springboard proposal prepared in November by consultant Jan Marchbanks, the administration developed an alternative staffing model recommendation using criteria set by the School Board. These criteria address the issues of fairness, balance, and the mission, philosophy, and values that distinguish Northshore.

   The first reading of the staffing model recommendation to the school board will be on January 25. The board is expected to take action at its Feb. 8 meeting.

   As of this writing, slight modifications to the recommendation are still being made. You are encouraged to review the recommendation on the district's website at www.nsd.org. Address your comments to the administrative assistant to the board, to be postmarked no later than January 31. Copies of all comments will be forwarded to the board.

   On behalf of the Northshore School Board:

Jean Fowler & Rich Baldwin