District a good financial steward

I recently had an opportunity to hear Everett School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Cohn give an update on the financial health of our district. These past several years have been difficult ones, with significant shortfalls in state and federal funding.

The Everett School District has needed to make almost $17 million in cuts over the past three years. These are not easy decisions, yet they have not come at a cost to student learning. Student achievement scores continue to trend upward and outpace state scores, even while English language learners and free and reduced lunch enrollment is increasing.

In a time when stories of mismanaged money fill the papers, our school district has maintained a strong history of fiscal responsibility with eight years of clean audits and 24 consecutive years of earning the Washington Association of School Business Officials Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting. When compared to other districts in the state of similar size, Everett ranks higher in spending for classroom teaching and support, and special education programs. It ranks lower in spending for maintenance and operations, and administrative and support staff.

Our district is poised for a strong future because the voters of Everett have repeatedly supported their schools, and the school district has been a good steward of these dollars. As we slowly climb out of this recession, our district is well positioned for future growth and greatness. I believe the Everett School District has earned our continued support.

Caroline Mason