Longview schools

The Longview School District is addressing a projected $2.4 million shortfall in its 2019-2020 budget without cutting student services and without layoffs, officials said last week.

The school board will hold a public hearing on the $98 million spending plan at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the School District Administration Building, 2715 Lilac St. The board is scheduled to adopt the budget on Aug. 26.

The budget adjusts to a $3 million loss of local levy money due to the state’s McCleary funding model, which capped how much schools can collect from local property taxes in 2017.

The cap is $1.50 per $1,000 of taxable property. The Legislature recently increased it to $2.50 per $1,000, but the district would need to get voter approval to boost the levy.

District spokesman Rick Parrish said the district has been searching for ways to balance the budget without affecting students. Part of the solution is a one-time, $1.8 million that Longview will get from a state appropriation for districts that lost revenue due to the levy cap.

Parrish said the proposed budget also includes $2.8 million in costs cuts, but here will not be any layoffs.

“Departmental budgets are being cut across the district, really focusing on expense categories that don’t impact the classroom or students,” Parrish said.

Under the proposed budget, every department would have a 10% reduction in maintenance, supplies and operating costs. Additionally, the district would cut back on out-of-state travel for training and reduce contract work. Two full-time certified staff positions and three full-time classified staff positions will also be left open.

Parrish said the proposed budget still requires the use of money from reserves, but the district still will meet board goal to retain budget of 4-6%.

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