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The Stanwood-Camano School Board unanimously approved an $84.2 million budget for the upcoming school year during its Aug. 17 meeting.

The budget projections for the next four years forecast a steady drop in the general fund balance but not falling below the board's mandated minimum limit of 5% of total revenue. 

The school district is likely to spend about $3.4 million more than its 2021-22 budgeted revenue of $81.7 million. The increased spending and decreased revenue was expected, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Steve Lidgard, district business and finance director.

The district starts the year with a $10.2 million general fund balance, but is expected to finish with $6.75 million. The next three years should see the general fund fall to about $5.5 million in 2023, about $4.5 million in 2024 and $4 million in 2025, according to budget projections.

In addition, the district plans to collect about $12.6 million from its levy — less than the $13.9 million that voters approved in 2020. That’s because, per state law, the cap for voter-approved enrichment levies for districts with fewer than 40,000 full-time students is $2,500 per full-time equivalent student.

This year, the district also is receiving federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief money. The cash will help pay for personal protective equipment, training, health services for students, technology, curriculum needs and other COVID-related expenses.

Other business

  • After listening to public comments and discussing with staff, the School Board approved a $165,000 contract with PUSH Inspiration to provide state-required equity training and consultation for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. The district's Equity Leadership Team — comprised of staff, students and community members — selected PUSH Inspiration in part because "their approach will be tailor-made for our district based upon feedback provided in focus group meetings with our students, staff and community," according to a memo from Maurene Stanton, the district's head of human resources. PUSH Inspiration will hold public forums in the community to gather information to help them craft training specifically for the Stanwood-Camano area, Stanton said.
  • School lunches this upcoming school year will look more like they did prior to the pandemic, said Don Vennetti, the district's food service director. In addition to hot lunches, the school-made breakfasts and lunches will be free for every student under the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option. Information: stanwood.wednet.edu

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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