Yelm Community Schools superintendent: ‘We will need to tighten our belts’ following budget approval
Excerpt from the Nisqually Valley News:
The Yelm Community Schools Board of Directors is considering different cuts to make up for an expected deficit in revenues while it identifies ways to replenish its fund balance.
The district is expecting to receive more than $1 million less in revenue in its 2023-24 budget, which was approved unanimously at the Aug. 24 board meeting. According to budget numbers presented to the board, the district will receive approximately $1,499,089 less than 2022-23. Superintendent Chris Woods said a large reason for the funding deficit is due to a decrease in enrollment compared with pre-pandemic numbers.
In terms of average annual full-time equivalent student enrollment, the board anticipates 5,468 students in the district in 2023-24 — up from 5,468 in 2022-23 but down from 5,574 in 2019-20. The board’s estimated revenues come out at $93,802,294, while the expenditures are estimated to be $95,019,443 for the upcoming school year.
“Nothing here was necessarily a surprise,” said Superintendent Chris Woods following the budget hearing. “We will need to tighten our belts this spring in preparation for next year.”
While the board has had discussions about monitoring revenues and expenditures on a monthly basis, members have not identified a plan announcing what cuts will need to be made. The board noted that it will analyze potential cuts, such as staffing, in preparation for the 2024-25 budget and contracts. Salaries and employee benefits make up 84% of the total expenditures.
The 2023-24 budget also identifies nearly $7 million for capital projects.