• Message from April 12, 2019:

    Dear Bainbridge Island School District Community, 
     
    As I shared previously with you, BISD is expecting a budget shortfall for the 2019-20 school year and we anticipate needing to reduce expenditures by approximately $2.6 - $3.4 million. 
     
    Our District Budget Advisory Committee (DBAC) has thoughtfully analyzed areas for budget reductions, as well as developed recommendations for restoration of certain positions if the budgetary picture is better than projected. 
     
    At last night's school board meeting, I shared the budget recommendations made by DBAC and the board approved DBAC's budget framework. (Read the full memo here: https://bit.ly/2Ubx34r)
     
    RECOMMENDATIONS: 
    • Adjusting staffing levels to fit enrollment levels
    • Eliminating the building-based differentiation/instructional specialists
    • Eliminating the K-4 academic interventionists that were added last school year (there are still multiple student support and interventions within our K-4 schools)
    • Reducing and re-organizing administrative and program supervision at the building level and district office
    • Making a small reduction of our highly capable staffing
    • Making a small reduction of our library services
     
    If the budget situation improves (with more enrollment, additional funding from the state, etc.) for the 2019-20 school year, DBAC prioritized possible restoration from the reductions including:
    1. Restore some form of the differentiation/instructional specialists
    2. Restore K-4 academic intervention support 
     
    If the budget situation becomes worse for the 2019-20 school year, DBAC recommended the following be considered for further reduction:
    • District-level and building-level office personnel 
     
    A main reason for the budget reductions is due to the uncertainty of future legislative action. I am optimistic BISD will receive additional funding from the state to fill the gap, but at this time, the extent of the increase is unknown. I am hopeful that if the state legislature concludes its session as scheduled on April 28, we will have the appropriate information needed by early May to provide the board with an update.
     
    I recognize that budget reductions can potentially impact students, staff, and families. Through a concerted effort of reorganization and combining certain responsibilities, we have mitigated the impact as much as possible. As we continue this challenging work, we will continue to keep you updated. 
     
    Thank you for your time, 
     
    Peter Bang-Knudsen
    Superintendent 

     


    Message from March 15, 2019

    Dear Bainbridge Island Community

    While there still remains a good portion of the 2018-19 school year left, spring is when BISD starts planning for the following school year. From welcoming new faces at our kindergarten information night, to discussing the upcoming senior year with the class of 2020 — this is the time of year where one foot remains in the present, while the other one tests out the waters of the future. Unfortunately, the budget waters for next year are rough, and we anticipate needing to reduce expenditures by approximately $2.6 - $3.4 million. This is due to a number of factors outlined below. 

    Lower Enrollment:
    Part of the planning process includes projecting next year’s enrollment. This is accomplished by analyzing historical trends and rolling up currently enrolled students to their next grade levels. For the 2019-20 school year, we anticipate 172 fewer students than the number we expected last spring when planning for 2018-19. This is a result of our lower than projected enrollment for the current year and a continuing projected decline for next year. 

    •  We receive approximately $9,100 per student from the state, so a decrease of 172 students equals approximately $1.56 million less in our budget.

    The McCleary Fix:
    The McCleary Fix was the state’s attempt to amply fund K-12 public basic education. While the state did provide us with an increase in funding, it came with changes and some strings attached.

    Salaries: On a positive note, the state provided additional money to compensate our employees so that we can better recruit and retain our high quality staff. While the state provided additional dollars, the state also changed the allocation model for salaries, and provides a flat amount for staff, regardless of experience and education. The good news is at BISD, we have a well-educated and experienced staff. However, we no longer receive additional support from the state to compensate our staff for years of experience and educational attainment. 

    Benefits: The state is requiring all school districts to use the School Employee Benefits Board (SEBB) for our health and dental insurance. The good news is that with SEBB, more BISD employees will qualify for health insurance. However, the new benefits system is not fully funded by the state, which results in an additional expense to the district for next year. 

    Local Levy: With the McCleary Fix, the state limited the amount of voter-approved local levy dollars that our district can collect.

    Next Steps:

    • Staffing to enrollment is required. With fewer students, we will receive less money from the state. Our Human Resources Department is currently projecting staffing models for next year and working closely with building and department administrators to determine staffing. 

    • Before considering any reductions, we will incorporate retirements and resignations to mitigate the impact on staff. 

    • The District Budget Advisory Committee (DBAC) is in the process of looking at the budget and are evaluating where we can reduce our spending. They will bring an update to the School Board on April 11. 

    • Any adjustments to staff will be made according to statutory and collective bargaining agreement timelines. 

    • On Monday, March 25, we will provide a budget presentation in the boardroom. It will be offered twice, once at 3:30 p.m. and once at 5:45 p.m. Staff and community members are encouraged to attend and learn more about the budget and this process.

    I recognize that budget uncertainty can be challenging. Please be assured that district personnel and DBAC are working thoughtfully and thoroughly on this process. Despite the challenges we face, I am optimistic that we will find constructive and creative solutions which will allow us to continue offering one of the best public educations in Washington. 

    Sincerely,

    Peter Bang-Knudsen

    Superintendent