Spokane Public Schools still seeking your comments on program cuts

SPOKANE, Wash. - On the heels of telling 193 teachers that most will receive layoff notices on May 12 and an announced $9 million budget shortfall, Spokane Public Schools is asking parents once again for their input on what items to cut from the budget before the budget is finalized this summer.

Administrators are considering what to cut from a list of non-mandatory expenditures which are programs and positions the State of Washington does not mandate.

Non-Mandatory Expenditures

  • Extracurricular Activities (sports, clubs, intramurals, etc.)
  • Number of Schools
  • Alternative Programs (Virtual Learning, Home School, Contract Based Education, etc.)
  • Gifted and Talented Program
  • Elementary Art Program
  • Principal Assistant Positions
  • Support Specialist Positions (counselors, career specialists, etc.)
  • Class Size
  • Secondary Elective Classes
  • Support Staff (custodial, maintenance, clerical, etc.)
  • Number of Central Administrative Positions
  • Student Transportation (support from local funds)
  • General Program Travel
  • Student Services
  • Security Staff

The state provides approximately 70 percent of the budget for Washington schools. For Spokane Public Schools, that represents $211 million of next year's expected operating budget of $308 million.

District officials say stimulus funds are headed their way, but right now it is unclear how those funds may be used to save teacher jobs, if at all.

Spokane Public Schools: Revenues: 2008 - 2009 Budget

Spokane Public Schools: Student Enrollment Decline 2002 - 2010

Spokane Public Schools: Expenditures by Object

Spokane Public Schools: Expenditures by Program

You are invited to offer input on what programs to maintain by emailing Terren Roloff, Communications director, at


. You can also voice your opinion by leaving your thoughts at the bottom of the story or sending them to KHQ via



Stacy Vesneski, representing Human Resources for the District, says the teacher layoffs are based on seniority which is determined by a teacher's Washington State contractual experience.

According to information distributed at Monday's layoff notice meeting, fewer retirements - 40 percent less - also created a need for layoffs.

Vesneski adds they are hopeful that the majority of the teachers will be recalled by August.

Roloff says teacher layoffs like these are very rare and have not been seen in 20 years.

If recalled, teachers are not guaranteed their same position, though the District says it is possible.

Budget forums will be held May 12 at Chase Middle School and May 14 at Glover Middle School at 4 p.m. for staff and at 7 p.m. for the community.

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