Tonasket School District facing budget cuts

TONASKET – Due to decisions by the state government at a recent legislative session, the Tonasket School District is once again facing budget cuts.

“We received $219,000 in funds from the federal government’s EduJobs funds to help save jobs,” Superintendent Paul Turner said. “The state, last Saturday, decided they needed the money more and are withholding the money to help with the state’s general fund shortfall. They are also cutting our K-4 class size funding by $64,000.”

Turner said that at this point, the school district will be fine, since they did not include the $219,000 in their budget and simply put it into savings, in anticipation of cuts. He added that the district will continue on with the programs they began this school year and will make up the $64,000 cut by taking from their savings account.

“There’s one more revenue forecast where we may have more budget reductions which we’ll have to cover with our general fund as well,” he stated. “The bottom line is we’ve been frugal and we’re going to be okay but the axe is starting to fall and we’re going to have to cover those cuts with our general fund. We can weather some storms but if they send us a hurricane, we don’t know.”

These latest cuts were the main topic of discussion at the school board’s regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 13. Due to the Winter Break, the board will not be meeting again until Monday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m.