Sunday, April 19, 2009

School Districts In Trouble--I Ask, I Answer

A couple of weeks ago I asked everyone to send me their ideas of the school districts in Washington State that might be circling the drain financially; thanks to everyone who emailed. I did some follow-up poking around on Google and the OSPI Website, and here's who looks like they're in the most dire straits:

  • Shoreline, now up to a 6.32% reserve after several years of tough economic times. There could also be a developing story with Arlington, who had a startlingly low 0.39% ending fund balance at the end of the '07-'08 fiscal year, before the new budget crisis.

    (Aside: Check out the Arlington link above to see their response. A little jab at the union, a little whinge about administrative! They also have one of the most poorly-designed surveys that you're ever going to hope to see. Again, fun!)

  • Montesano actually links to the Apportionment and Financial Services section of the OSPI website right off of their homepage, which tells you something about where they're at with the budget. At the end of 07-08 they were $50,000 in the red. You can read more about it in their district newsletter.

  • Onalaska got audited in March of 2008 with a finding attached because of their general financial disarray. You won't find that on their district website, but it looks like a pattern that continues to this day. That's not promising, especially with more cuts to come.

  • Evaline is a district of about 50 kids that doesn't have its own district website. They also have the disadvantage of being in the same part of Washington where Vader was; add in the fact that they had a $46,560 deficit at the end of last year ($1000 per student!), and you have to wonder about their long-term future. You can read their audit here.
I'll update as time permits.

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