It’s time to talk budget. Marysville School Board has been in a process of reconciling a budget. Having faced a $1.3 million debt at the start of the 2000 school year, the former administration and school board continued to add expenditures. After just two years the district is facing a $3.8 million debt that has been titled a “shortfall.” An additional 3 percent of the $81 million budget (that was held in reserve) was also spent last year to offset the long-term loss.
By reviewing school board minutes, it becomes obvious that the district has lacked priorities. The board and administration continued excessive travel and spending. The consequence will be the effects in the classroom and the impact on student learning. The justifier for board travel seemed to be the need to “train.” If the budget crisis is the result of this training, the money is best used at home.
The new superintendent and administration can offer new direction. But it will take years to recover from this financial mess. It would be my continued concern that the Marysville School Board actually complete policy review and updates and that they put themselves in compliance with the law and protect the district from lawsuits. Also, that there be a clear mission and plan for education, which includes the stakeholders.
Marysville has long been a community that cares for its children. There are staff and employees who have weathered many changes and held the course to improve student learning. I would hope that communication would remain open and decision-making inclusive. The students of the district will have to do without until the new administration over the next few years recovers from this loss.
Former Marysville school board member