Gateway: News

Peninsula school board approves budget for upcoming year

The Peninsula School District’s 2015-2016 budget was approved on Thursday night.

The district’s school board voted 4-0 to approve the $99 million budget. Board member David Olson was absent.

The budget covers the general fund total and also has smaller funds for transportation, capital projects, debt service and ASB funding.

The capital projects fund is low because the district’s income comes from impact fees.

A majority of the revenue into the general fund comes from the state — about 66 percent. It hasn’t been an easy year for state funding. The same day as the school board meeting, the state Legislature was slapped with a $100,000-a-day fine by the state Supreme court for a lack of adequate funding.

There’s also issues trying to enact an initiative for smaller class sizes.

“This budget is late and it’s not the district’s fault,” board member Jerry Gibbs said.

The district had to deal with “the dithering, dysfunctional Legislature,” he added.

Thursday marked Gibbs’ first official meeting as a school board member. He was appointed to fill a seat between now and the November election.

The general fund will add funding for all-day kindergarten, small elementary school class sizes, a 3 percent cost of living increase, $250,000 for safety projects, $2.1 million for repair and maintenance and additional appropriates for materials and devices.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155