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Washington Voices

School districts approve budgets

In preparation for the coming school year, the three Spokane Valley school districts have passed their budgets.

In the Central Valley School board approved a total budget of $136,942,430, estimating an enrollment of 12,620 full-time students, an increase of 770 students from last year’s budgeted amount.

Districts track enrollment carefully because the state allocates a set dollar amount per student to schools. When districts prepare their budgets every year, they must estimate how many students they will have in order to ensure funding for programs.

This year’s budget at CV is higher than last year in that it includes state funding for full-day kindergarten at three schools – Broadway, Opportunity and Progress elementary schools. The three other schools that will have full-day kindergarten – Adams, McDonald and University – are funded by learning assistance programs. It also includes funding for class-size reduction in the first grade at these same six schools.

The district is purchasing five portables to house the extra students at these schools.

The budget also includes $1.5 million for technology infrastructure: Wireless connectivity will be implemented in every building by fall 2014 and security cameras will be coming to the schools.

In the East Valley School District, the board approved a budget that estimated 4,494 full-time enrolled students. This year’s budget is for $47,382,559.

Superintendent John Glenewinkel said the enrollment estimate was conservative. That number is less than what the district had last year, but includes 61 new full-time enrolled students they can include since the state is now funding full-day kindergarten at low-income schools, which the district has been providing to all of its schools for the past year.

“Everybody had all-day K last year, it’s a commitment the board made a couple of years ago,” Glenewinkel said.

In West Valley, projected enrollment is up to 3,853 full-time enrolled students, which is 225 more than estimated last year. Deputy Superintendent Doug Matson said enrollment is expected to jump because of full-day kindergarten and because there are more students coming into the district than left at the end of last year.

The budget this year is for $39,272,987.

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