Seattle Public Schools today announced a freeze on non-critical hiring and spending, saying the chance the district will get significant new state funding is uncertain.
Without that new funding, the district says it anticipates a shortfall of $18 million in the 2013-14 school year between expected revenues and expenses. In a news release, officials say they expect the freeze to save at least $2.5 million.
The release quotes Duggan Harman, assistant superintendent of business and finance, who says:
“We are hopeful that the legislature follows the recent Supreme Court order and funds the K-12 increases it has previously committed to. If this happens, the path to a balanced budget becomes clearer.”
One of the biggest issues in Olympia this session is how to handle last year’s decision by Washington’s Supreme Court, which said legislators are failing to live up to the state Constitution’s mandate to amply fund public education. There is a wide range of opinion, however, about how much more money is required .
The district said that “critical” positions needed for safety or classroom instruction will be exempt from the freeze.