Students are at the heart of our work and our decision making. While planning for this budget, we continue to be fiscally responsible and committed to student success.
Our principles for budget development:
- Prioritize student-focused activities and supports that allow us to hold true to our Core Values of Service, Excellence, and Equity as well as our priority areas of Family and Community Engagement, Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and Removing Barriers.
- Consider the long-term academic and fiscal impacts of budget decisions.
- Provide adequate resources for operational support for our students, staffs, and schools.
The greatest share of a school district’s budget is devoted to personnel costs for salary and benefits. For our district as much as 85% of our budget goes to staff salary and benefits. Additionally, much of the funding from the state and federal government is designated, by law, to be used only for specific programs. This leaves little wiggle room for where we can make budget adjustments. Given this predicament, any significant changes will impact our staff. We are committed to maximize the educational impact for our students.
Our priority is to ensure equality of opportunity for all students and to continue to provide every student with an equal chance to succeed.
Renton schools work to reduce the 2020-21 budget
April 23, 2020—Renton School Board members heard from district staff on work to reduce next school year’s budget by about $10.5 million, or more than 4% of the overall district budget. Deputy Superintendent Dr. Shannon Harvey presented Board members with the list of planned reductions necessary to close an operating deficit which results primarily from reduced levy authority from the State Legislature and student enrollment being below projection for the 2019-20 school year.
District administration carefully considered community feedback from nearly 350 staff and community members in drafting the reduction plan.
Sixty-two percent (more than $6.5 million) of the planned reductions come from the district office, holding true to Superintendent Damien Pattenaude’s priority, as well as aligning with staff and community feedback, to make most of the necessary reductions as far away from classrooms as possible.
Annual budgets are developed through a cyclical process involving many steps. Below is a current document synopsis of the progress of our budget development.