Sequim: School Board balks at immediately restoring program cuts made before levy victory


Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM -- The School Board came to a meeting Thursday night prepared to discuss reversing a series of program cuts for the 2004-2005 school year in the wake of their landslide tax levy victory in May.

Instead, they spent more than 90 minutes deciding whether that was wise -- or even necessary.

In the end, the Sequim School District board made a largely ceremonial commitment to refrain from enacting specific cuts to academic programs, extracurricular activities and professional staffing services until the budgeting process begins over the summer.

After a two-year, $5.44 million levy request failed in February, the board members voted to make deep cuts to compensate for the revenue loss of nearly 20 percent of the district's operating budget.

But the language of their official adoption included a reference to the cuts' being applied only if the May 18 levy request fails.

Complicating the problem was the May 15 deadline to notify some teaching personnel that their contracts would not be renewed.

Fourteen staff members were given ``reduction-in-force'' notices on May 12.

Almost 3-to-1 margin

Then voters approved the two-year, $5.16 million maintenance and operations levy request by an almost 3 to 1 margin in an election ending May 18.

The board voted to restore all but four of those positions and to give Christensen the discretion to fill five positions created by attrition which were set to be left vacant had the levy measure failed.



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