MOSES LAKE, Wash. — The Moses Lake School District announced Wednesday that there is no plan to lay off or reduce teaching staff .
Superintendent Dr. Joshua Meek said this was possible due to good planning, financial oversight, strategic thinking and teamwork.
"The Moses Lake School District is pleased to announce that we will not be implementing layoff procedures for our teaching and certificated staff. It has been a long and bumpy road to get here, but great solutions don’t come easily. Many of our partner school districts across the state are facing the same challenges as we are, but this is a time when I am proud of our staff and community to explore and plan in the best possible way. Strong school systems are able to endure when challenges present themselves. That is only possible when good planning, financial oversight, strategic thinking, and teamwork come together. While we are faced with questioning the norm of our spending and funding reality we remain committed to the care and success of each and every child. We know that the number one factor in student achievement and success is a high quality teacher. If we know that to be true, and we recognize the obstacles we have to get there, then we knew we had to be very purposeful in how we maximize our limited resources. I am excited for the future of our district and the amazing learning that our students receive each and every day," Meek said in a statement Wednesday.
In a press release, the district said with the help of the Moses Lake Education Association they were able to keep the best learning environment for students and remain financially stable.
The district plans to keep class sizes small in kindergarten through third grade.
The district previously announced reduction of administrative positions. In combination with those reductions, district leaders said there is likely to be consideration given to reduction of classified and additional administrative positions. It is unclear how many positions would be cut.
Back in April, the district announced that recent changes to state funding and levy limitations altered the financial outlook of the district.
Since 2018, the district lost $11,791,980 of revenue to fund and operate the district, Bruner said. The 2018 levy collected $17,946,309 and the 2019 Levy is only collecting $6,154,329.
District spokesperson McKenna Bruner said recent bargaining efforts between the district and local unions have resulted in an increase of human resource costs of over $8.7 million. The state allocation for teachers gives Moses Lake School District $69,433 per full time teacher but the average salary for teachers in the district is $81,935.
According to Bruner, student enrollment is another factor impacting the districts budget. The district saw an enrollment increase of 1.5 percent over the past 4 years.
Bruner said the numbers impact the allocated stated school funding.
District leaders said undesignated district reserves stand at 2.3 percent of the overall budgeted expenditures. They said current school district policy expects a 12.5 percent undesignated district reserve.