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Monday, September 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Education

Mead School District board hears recommended areas to cut $12 million

UPDATED: Wed., April 17, 2019

Mead High School on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 as the school day ends. . (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Mead High School on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 as the school day ends. . (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

In a lead-up to potential layoffs at the Mead School District, the board of directors heard recommendations on where to cut $12 million out of its budget.

Various school administrators in the district presented the recommendations to the Mead School District Board of Directors at a special meeting at Northwood Middle School on Wednesday night. No decisions on the cuts were made at the meeting.

“At this point, we’re at the proposal stage,” said President Carmen Green.

Mead is the latest school district to cope with a budget shortfall just months after giving large pay raises to teachers and other staff.

Spokane Public Schools, for example, has announced intentions to lay off 325 employees. West Valley also faces a budget shortfall that could result in dozens of layoffs.

The budget problems stem from changes to the state’s new education funding formula, called the McCleary decision. While districts in the Spokane area received millions more in state funding, the Legislature restricted the amount of money districts could receive from local levies.

The Mead proposal included cutting elementary sports programs, janitorial positions, special education jobs, high school counselors, librarian para-educators, instructional coaches, nurses, teachers and more.

The administrators proposed about $15 million in cuts, but only about $12 million will be cut, allowing the public and board of directors to influence what is saved.

The total number of positions is not decided, Green said, and it’s not possible to estimate because there are many variables.

On Wednesday, the school board will hear public comment on the proposal. Then on April 25, the board will vote, she said.

“I’m sure we’ll have groups coming to defend their area,” Green said.

“We wish we weren’t here,” she added.

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