2024-25 Budget Development

The Northshore School District, like many other school districts, is anticipating a budget deficit for the 2024-25 school year due to factors outlined below.

As part of the 23-24 budget development process, $21 million in reductions were identified and implemented. We knew last year that  this would be a multi-year process to realign our expenses with our revenues.

Responding to this year's budget deficit will be challenging. As we developed the 2023-24 budget, guiding principles of the District included complying with state mandates and board policies, minimizing the impact on students both in the classroom and in their educational experiences, and advancing the District’s strategic plan. These guiding principles remain in effect for the 2024-25 year.District leadership is looking at several potential cost-saving measures while adhering to these guiding principles.

As of October 1, 2023 the current expected shortfall is $26 million, equivalent to 5% of the total budget.

 

Contributing Factors to the Deficit

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Declining student enrollment while maintaining or increasing staffing levels. Since 2019-20 and the start of the pandemic, Northshore has seen a decline of 656 student full-time equivalents (FTE). Every 80 students is the equivalent of approximately $1 million dollars.

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While we have lost students, we have maintained and, added staff to address student needs. Additionally, the school-age population in Washington is shrinking due to declining birth rates. The pandemic accelerated projected enrollment loss.

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District decisions regarding programming and operations. We have provided increased instructional program opportunities for many students as well as increased staff which provide important social, emotional, and academic supports to our students.

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The state’s continued underfunding of public education, specifically special education. For example, in 2022-23, Northshore spent $25.6 million dollars of local levy funds to make up the gap between what the state provides for special education and what our students need and deserve. If the state was paying the full cost of legally required special education services, our current budget deficit of $26 million dollars would be eliminated and no reductions would be needed.

Our district did receive an additional $9 million dollars in special education funding as a result of increased funding from the state. While we are grateful for this increase it was far from the $26 million dollars needed. Full funding of special education is a legislative priority of education leaders and organizations across our state including the State PTA, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington, Washington Education Association, Washington State School Directors’ Association, and Washington Association of School Administrators among others.

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State spending on public education hasn’t kept pace with inflation and the true cost associated with operating schools. Inflation has impacted fuel and energy prices, supplies and parts, food, etc. - all costs outside our control but that we must respond to.

 

2024-25 Budget Development Timeline

March 11, 2024 Budget, Board Study Session

Staff presentation included review of Northshore’s fund balance, cash flow, and 4-year budget outlook. In addition, an update on the 2024 Legislative Session and recommended reduction areas to address the District’s $26 million shortfall was provided. 

December 11, 2023 Budget, Board Study Session

Staff presentation includes an overview of the 2024-25 Budget Development Survey findings by stakeholder group (families, students, and community members) and additional analysis on potential reduction areas.

November 13, 2023, Budget Board Study Session

Content of the presentation includes revised guiding principles, updated enrollment and fiscal outlook, expenditure by activity, and possible reduction areas. 

September 26, 2023, Budget Board Study Session

Content of the presentation includes enrollment historical and projected, budget historical and projected, 2024-25 budget development timeline, and communication and engagement plan. 

2024-25 Budget Development Communication and Engagement Plan

Financial Advisory Committee - 8 meetings

  • October, November, February, March, April, May and June.

School Leaders

  • Coincide with board study sessions.

Schools, Admin Center, Support Services

  • Voluntary meetings at all schools, recorded presentation, staff meetings.

Labor Partners

  • Coincide with board study sessions.

Family/Community/Stakeholder Survey

  • Survey launched in late October to gather information and feedback on what is most important for students and should be prioritized in the budget development process.

Family/Community Budget Sessions - 6 meetings

  • Three to provide background and understanding of NSD's current financial position. (Fall 2023)
  • Three to provide budget updates and information on the 2024-25 budget. (Spring 2024)

Individual School PTA Presentations

  • Optional and coordinated via the school leader.

The Northshore School District will continue to develop the 2024-25 Budget Development webpage. Updated information will be posted to this page as it becomes available.