School district budget dips into reserve funds

The Snoqualmie Valley School District Board of Directors unanimously passed the upcoming academic year’s budget, in which expenditures exceed revenues by more than $2 million.

The shortfall, which is due in large part to the opening of the new Twin Falls Middle School, was anticipated by the school board, Superintendent Joel Aune said at the board’s July 10 meeting.

In previous years, the board set aside reserve funds, which this year’s budget will tap.

“We’re well positioned to be able to absorb those costs in this first year,” Aune said.

But with operation costs rising and student enrollment growth slowing, the 2009-10 budget will likely be more difficult to reconcile.

This year’s budget as approved does not provide for employee wage increases beyond state-mandated cost of living adjustments. Teachers have threatened to strike in September if they aren’t able to negotiate salary increases this summer.

A public hearing on the budget that preceded the vote was mostly quiet, though one community member asked the district to “please eliminate any extras or fluff” as the Valley faces tougher economic times.

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