SKSD will leverage the next levy

South Kitsap School District has hired over 185 more employees, which exceeds what’s supported in the district’s budget. That’s more than $2 million in budget deficits on top of the $7 million shortfall due to student disenrollment.

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) gave clear warnings that districts that over-hired and gave big pay raises would not receive additional funding. Yet our district saw fit to give 20-percent-plus raises across the board last year, followed with additional 3-percent increases this year during the global pandemic!

Our district’s overspending resulted in expending 83 percent of the 85 percent of funds distributed to the district by the state. Adding in bills and utilities, now they tell us they are now broke! They would like to raise the levy rate from $2.50 to $3.73 and leave us all holding this “steaming bag” of financial mismanagement. The school board of directors will soon be “feasting” on this blame pie.

Since the superintendent can’t fix what is broke, he now raises the specter of 15-percent cuts “across the board” in staffing if we don’t approve the district levy in February. So pay raises on one hand and now warnings of 15-percent cuts across the board on the other.

No levy? Don’t expect to see more money for the kids. The unions and our superintendent “baked this pie,” but we will be the ones eating it. Sadly, the unions and the district will probably not shoulder the blame as they should.

Doug Engh

Port Orchard