Editor's note: The above video is a report on recent Spokane Public Schools layoffs due to changes in state education funding.
MEAD, Wash. — The Mead School District will present a plan to address and resolve an anticipated $12 million budget shortfall at a special board meeting on Wednesday.
The proposed “Modified Education Program” will be presented during the public meeting at the Mead School District office at 6 p.m. on April 17, according to an email sent to Mead families. The district office is located at 2323 E. Farwell Rd.
The Mead School Board adopted a resolution on March 25 to address the budget uncertainty, which authorized Superintendent Tom Rockefeller to develop and recommend the Modified Education Program, according to the email.
On Monday, April 22, staff and community members will be able to provide public comment on the plan at a regular board meeting held at the district office at 6 p.m., according to the email. No action will be taken on the plan until the public has had the opportunity to comment.
Rockefeller may amend the plan after hearing public comments, according to the email.
A copy of the proposed plan will be posted on the Mead School District homepage on April 18, the email said.
The amount of state funding for basic education is uncertain because legislators are still negotiating the 2019-2021 general operating budget, which contains most of the money for the state’s share of school programs, the email said.
The Washington state Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on April 28 but has the option of going into special session. According to the email, the absolute deadline for the Legislature to pass a new budget is midnight on June 30.
“To meet bargaining agreement deadlines, the district cannot wait any longer to begin to address and resolve the anticipated budget shortfall,” the email reads.
The Mead School District is not the only one in the region feeling the impacts of budget cuts.
Spokane Public Schools is laying off 325 employees due to a change in the state’s education funding model. That includes 182 teaching-level staff.
The district told KREM that the layoffs were based on seniority.
Teachers learned of layoffs on Thursday. Classified employees, including custodial and clerical staff, will learn about layoffs in the next few days, according to district spokesman Brian Coddington.