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.
Items impacting the 2021-22 Budget development process:
COVID 19 Pandemic; The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted school districts across Washington in different ways. For Renton, the pandemic has interrupted normal operations from students remote learning to technology to transportation. These impacts have skewed analytical models and operational expectations where "what was" is not "what is" anymore.
Legislative Priorities; The Washington State Legislature concluded its 2021 session allocating 2% for the prototypical funding model while adjusting categorical funding and addressing shortfalls. Adjustments where made for COVID relief funding which come in the form of Federal resources like "ESSER" grants which total $54 million over 3 years.
Hybrid vs. Non-Hybrid; School districts are preparing for 2021-22 to be a normal operating year minimizing the effects of the pandemic. But, as the unexpected is now expected, districts must prepare to serve our students in person and virtually concurrently. This brings with it innovation and adaptation expectations causing new expenditure models and a need for support.
Annual budgets are developed through a cyclical process involving many steps. Below is a current document synopsis of the progress of our budget development.
Budget Process Documents Provided for the Community and Board of Directors:
June 23rd - Budget Development Update
July 14th - Preliminary Budget - All District Funds
August 9th - District Budget - State Form-195
August 9th - District Four-Year Projection - State Form-195F