Still looking at their budget deficit, Olympia School District considers how to balance the books


Olympia School District (OSD) is currently preparing itself for a reduced budget for the coming school year.

“We don't have a new deficit number for you tonight, but we are working on that very diligently. But we do know that [with] the information that we are seeing, we still have a sizeable deficit,” Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Priddy said during Olympia School District’s (OSD) regular meeting last February 23.

Priddy shared that OSD is also taking a look at the upcoming year’s maintenance level, revenue, and expenditures to narrow the figures down to a more precise projected deficit.

“We're taking a look at… each month to inform whether or not our projected enrollment, and therefore our projected revenue for the upcoming year, is still the number that we feel safe with, or maybe we can project a higher number,” Priddy added.

Priddy shared their current progress in preparing the 2023-2024 budget, starting with research on current expenditures.

Deficit projections were also created using current-year expenditures, current-year enrollment tracking, right-sizing staffing (when enrollment declines), and projecting revenue for state policymaker proposals, Priddy reported.

Priddy also discussed the ending balance for January: “The revenue we've collected thus far is about 61.5 million dollars. Our expenditures are about 68 million dollars. We're drawing down our beginning fund balance in order to offset the difference between our expenditures and our revenue.”

To augment the next term’s budget, Superintendent Patrick Murphy voiced that the district will emphasize staffing resignations and retirement.

“We're going to be watching our staffing retirements and resignations because annually, we have a number of teachers, paraeducators, office professionals– everybody across our system, that retire/resign if our enrollment is going down,” Murphy stated.

Murphy also noted that the number of people to be hired might already exceed the needs in the district, and that they need to revamp their staffing procedures.

“We don't need as many staff to continue the support” for having fewer kids than before, Murphy added. “We can absorb that through retirements and resignations – that makes our reduction of current staff that are hoping to be working next year to – be lower,” Murphy said.

Teachers, students, staff, and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide input in the 2023-2024 budget planning by answering the Budget Survey.


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  • fyancey

    With a $17 M projected deficit, someone was asleep at the switch. Very poor management. IMHO

    Wednesday, March 1, 2023 Report this