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Snoqualmie school budget cuts not as deep as feared

Snoqualmie Valley Schools had braced for a $1.8 million state funding cut this year that would have cut as many as 20 teaching jobs in the district.

District officials recently got word that the cut won't be as deep as originally feared.

The recently approved supplemental budget cuts $1 million in state funding to Valley schools.

The cut has reduced the district's current 2009-2010 budget by more than $3 million from the prior period.

Budget proposals announced last December by Gov. Chris Gregoire made big cuts to K-12 education. However, legislators altered the budget to cut funding for enhanced teacher staffing in the elementary schools, eliminating all I-728 funding — money used for classroom size reduction — and took away the remaining Learning Improvement Day, used for teacher training.

Snoqualmie Valley School District spokeswoman Carolyn Malcolm said that no teacher layoffs are expected in the coming year.

The legislature also adopted a bill changing how base levy funding is calculated, increasing the levy lid for all districts in the state.

"These two factors mean that we will have more maintenance and operations levy funds available to us as we develop the budget for next year," Snoqualmie Schools Superintendent Joel Aune stated in a letter to district parents. "The additional funds will offset a significant portion of the reductions in state funding that our school district will be required to absorb."

Specifics will be discussed in mid-May, when the district receives a state revenue worksheet.

"It will give us a better understanding of the specifics of our budget," Malcolm said.

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