WALLA WALLA, Washington – School board members unanimously approved an $86.8 million general fund for 2019-2020 Walla Walla Public Schools year at the board meeting Tuesday.
“This proposed budget represents the board’s and community’s continued emphasis and expectation to offer high quality progress and opportunities that lead to the long-term success for all of our students,” Superintendent Wade Smith said. “However, we’re going to need to look for additional ways to thoughtfully reduce expenditures over the next few years in order to align costs with long-term revenue projections to ensure long-term fiscal solvency and accountability.”
According to the district, this school year’s general fund budget is based on a projection of 5,608 full-time equivalent students, down 52 from last year. Since state school funding is based on student enrollment, the district is continuing to look for ways to address efficiencies to offset the loss of funding.
The general fund maintains the minimum ending fund balance target established by board policy of eight percent, but it also reflects the need to dip into reserve funding to balance the budget. The impact of the McCleary funding changes, which the district states capped the amount of money school districts can collect through their local enrichment learning levy, in addition to declining student enrollment, requires utilization of reserve dollars to ensure sufficient revenue to offset programmed expenditures.