The Seattle School District has a budget shortfall for the 2009-10 school year of $37.1 million, according to a summary paper released Monday night by Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. State adds and cuts for a net additional deficit of $13.1 million make up the total. The Legislature is not in session yet and recessionary tax receipts may fall lower still, so the impact on schools could yet be worse.
Most ominous in the detail is the state Office of Financial Management'ês assumption that $19.5 million Seattle would normally get from Initiative 728 class-size reduction funding will be cut. That'ês pretty much all money that'ês spent in schools, not at the home office.
Meanwhile, Goodloe-Johnson is working hard to cut costs. Monday'ês summary identified almost $21 million in reductions, and some of these (details to come) look courageous: $5 million from central office, $2 million from busing, for example. Others just look optimistic: $3.6 million from closing school buildings is not only controversial but estimates savings at the top end of the $300,000 to $600,000 savings per building potential. Not a figure to bet on.
Add it up, and the superintendent'ês summary has a pretty glum bottom line, since she'ês still got to find $10 million more to cut to balance the budget. These are mighty tough times.