Community invited to share budget priorities

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Community invited to share budget priorities
Budget forums

Planning is underway for the development of the 2018-19 Olympia School District budget, and there are several opportunities for the community to have a voice in the process.


The district has scheduled two community forums:


  • February 28: 6:30-8 p.m; Jefferson Middle School, 2200 Conger Ave. N.W., Olympia.
  • March 7: 6:30-8 p.m; Washington Middle School, 3100 Cain Rd. S.E., Olympia.

“I encourage our community, staff, parents, and students to engage in these discussions to give our Board of Directors feedback on what they value about our school district, and where they most want to protect resources,” said Jennifer Priddy, assistant superintendent of finance and operations.


In early March, the district will also post an online budget survey on the Olympia School District website. Students, families, community members and employees are encouraged to fill out the survey, which will remain open through April 15, 2018. Survey results will be shared with the school board during its regularly scheduled board meeting on April 23. 


Bleak budget forecast


Over the last six months the school board, district leaders and some local high school students have been speaking with local legislators and others about how a new state funding system approved last summer hurts the Olympia School District financially.


In fact, the Olympia School District is facing more than a $6 million deficit for the 2018-19 school year to live within the new state funding system and meet state expenditure expectations.


As the district continues to communicate the negative impact of the budget and potential solutions with lawmakers, it must move forward with creating a local funding plan for the next school year.


In addition to input received from the community, Superintendent Patrick Murphy and Priddy have been visiting staff at each of the district’s 19 schools. These meetings with staff are expected to continue through March, and results will be reported at the Olympia School District Board of Directors meeting on April 23. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way. S.E., Olympia.


The community will have its first look at a proposed 2018-19 budget during a regular board meeting on May 14, 2018 at the Knox Administrative Center in Olympia. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.


The public will have additional opportunities to share input during community budget forums planned for mid-May. Mark your calendars now for these future budget forums scheduled on:


  • May 15: 6:30-8 p.m.; Jefferson Middle School, 2200 Conger Ave. N.W., Olympia.
  • May 16: 6:30-8 p.m.; Washington Middle School, 3100 Cain Road S.E., Olympia.

As always, the community is welcome to communicate about the budget or other topics of interest during regular school board meetings. Time is set aside near the start of each regular board meeting for public comment. A list of board meetings, including times and locations, are on the district website.


The community is also invited to email or call board members directly. That information is also posted on the district website.