SHORELINE, Wash. — It’s the first week of school for many students in the Shoreline School District, and parents and teachers who spoke to KIRO 7 say last-minute budget cuts will have a big impact on local classrooms.
“It’s just really disappointing to see all these great programs being cut. Opportunities that my kids were previously interested in are being taken away,” says local parent Katie Mose.
Even before the school year started, parents expressed concern about the potential budget cuts to Shoreline schools. The district faced a projected shortfall of more than $10 million.
Matt Reiman represents the local teacher’s union, and he says educators are exhausted, doing more with less.
“I think they’re approaching this year with more trepidation than they probably ever have, even with COVID,” says Reiman.
He adds that despite decreasing enrollment, class sizes are increasing.
“As a union, we’ve negotiated some concessions that are going to impact teachers. We’re already hearing about class sizes in secondary English, classes of 36 and 38 [students],” Reiman says.
The school’s budget outlines the dozens of staff members being cut, from paraeducators to secretaries to librarians.
“I feel like the teachers are between a rock and a hard place. I feel like they’re struggling too, to make it the experience for the kids that they’re used to giving them,” says Mose.
Parents will see an increase in the cost of school lunches, along with a rise in athletic fees.
While the district declined to speak with KIRO 7, their budget website outlines how their balancing act with the budget is not over, writing that “it is very likely that additional reductions will be needed next year as well. In order to continue to strengthen the district’s financial health.”
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