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Cutbacks coming for school district


Several positions and some programs will be cut back as officials of the Grand Coulee Dam School District try to erase a potential $745,000 budget deficit they are facing for the 2017-18 school year.

Superintendent Paul Turner shared his concerns over the potential deficit with members of the school board Monday night.

Cuts include one assistant principal, the high school registrar position, one librarian, an alternative school teacher and a paraprofessional from that program, a change in the way the athletic director position was handled, another paraprofessional position not specified, and other general program changes.

Turner said Tuesday that the cuts outlined before the board will probably be in his final list of budget cuts for the new year.

Turner has said previously that some cuts would be needed in the coming year. The state Legislature failed to agree on a budget before the end of its regular session this month, making a special session necessary in a year when education funding is especially uncertain. Legislators are wrestling with a Supreme Court mandate to fully fund education but can’t agree politically on the solution.

“We are already seeing news reports that school districts are feeling the effect of this delay,” Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said in a fundraising email Tuesday, blaming Republicans.

Turner was not specific on which of the two vice principals would be cut, nor was he specific on which of the two librarians would be cut.

Other cuts include bringing the alternative learning program back into Lake Roosevelt High School, both for fulltime and parttime students.

Turner refused to answer a question from the board on which vice principal would be cut.

In other cuts or changes, he said that any capital projects would be eliminated and there would be a number of contractual services eliminated.

Turner stated that he would have a more complete report on cuts needed to get the school district’s budget for next year in line with expected revenues.

The superintendent told the board that in most cases he had had a one-on-one meeting with those who would be directly affected.

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