Legislative Session Ends

On July 2, 2009, in Budget, by Dr. Keen

The legislative session finally ended on June 30. The media have reported some results but only in general terms. Yes, Westfield Washington Schools will receive some additional money, but that is because we are a growing school district with more students, not more money per student. In fact, at the end of 2011, we will receive fewer dollars per student than in 2009.

Given the current state of our economy, we do feel fortunate to receive any additional money. This per student money is general fund money, used primarily for staffing. In fact 87% of these dollars goes to pay for staff. However, we will have more students and limited additional money meaning we will have to be very careful with hiring.

The state dictates the way money is allocated to school districts by restricting money in separate funds. For instance, capital fund money cant be use to add staff, but can be used to purchase needed technology “ different pots of money that cant be mixed.

Next update “ early August, back-to-school.

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H1N1 Virus & Legislative Session

On May 6, 2009, in Budget, Health & Wellness, by Dr. Keen

First, let me clarify procedures related to the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus, and actually any contagious event that may happen. We have a nurse in each building, plus a district nurse. With any unusual health issue, the district nurse works closely with the county and state health departments and we follow the procedures that they establish. If and when appropriate, information is posted on our Web site so parents have the latest updates on the situation.

Since the budget was not passed, a special session of the legislature has to occur. The only significant educational bill to pass so far relates to requiring more detailed background checks, something weve already been doing for six years. Neither the Senate nor House budget versions were kind to growing schools like Westfield, so well be lobbying for changes during the special session.

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