Board adopts $75.4 million budget for Arlington public schools

ARLINGTON – The school board adopted a $75.4 million Arlington Public Schools budget for 2019 that includes across-the-board pay increases, additional staff, as well as more money for safety improvements, athletics and the arts.

The total proposed operating budget is $75.4 million against projected revenues of $80.8 million, with a beginning fund balance of $8.6 million that could climb to $13.1 million in the next budget cycle, said Gina Zeutenhorst, executive director of Financial Services.

Board policy requires a minimum fund balance equal to one month’s average operating costs, so the numbers are a good sign of healthy operating capital, she said.

But, Zeutenhorst forewarned, “It’s not going to be high in future years,” based on new four-year budget projections the district is required to estimate as part of the state’s overhaul of the education system.

By 2020, fund balances for programs, services and operations will decline significantly without a replacement levy and relief from the legislature, resulting in potential cuts.

Zeutenhorst explained that the current higher fund balance is due to several positive developments.

Enrollment gained 95 more students than budgeted for, which brought in additional state revenue and required adding more teachers. Also, local tax revenues collected were higher than expected due to a good economy, people were paying delinquent taxes higher than projected, interest earnings were up, and state timber fund dollars added $2.2 million more than anticipated at the end of the school year.

Among general fund expenditures, the budget includes a 3.1 percent inflationary raise for all teachers and staff based on the Seattle consumer price index.

The spending plan anticipates adding 30 new positions to the current 526 employed in the district, including basic education and special education teachers, counselors, para-educators and support staff, with more emphasis on kindergarten through 3rd grade where the district is seeing the most enrollment growth.

The budget will also provide funding for campus security equipment, band uniforms, music instrument repair and replacement, and more dollars for the arts, activities and athletics.

Among other major funds, the 2018-19 spending plan will allocate $6 million to the debt service fund to make principal and interest payments on an existing bond that is a few years from payoff, and $1.4 million in the transportation vehicle fund related to a $1.2 million non-voted bond issued last March for five new school buses, and five more in the upcoming school year.

More in News

Arlington welcomes 3 newest firefighters, off to academy

ARLINGTON – The city welcomed and swore in three new firefighters Monday… Continue reading

Mayor’s State of the City Address: Not poised for solid future; it’s here

ARLINGTON – At a countywide economic forecast breakfast in Everett prior to… Continue reading

Dads, daughters enjoy enchanted evening at annual Father-Daughter Valentines Dance

MARYSVILLE – Recent snowfall delayed plenty of events on people’s social calendars,… Continue reading

Sword attack just missed killing man in Marysville

By Caleb Hutton MARYSVILLE — If the sword had sliced into Aaron… Continue reading

Community briefs

Habitat for Humanity needs volunteer help Friday SMOKEY POINT – The new… Continue reading

Marysville takes on bigger role in Regional Apprenticeship Pathways plan

MARYSVILLE – Chris Nation noticed. In a work session discussion of the… Continue reading

Young man killed by hit-and-run driver was well-loved

MARYSVILLE — Matthew Colson was well loved. That is obvious looking at… Continue reading

Welding, construction students compete at Arlington High School

ARLINGTON - Nine Arlington High School students qualified for state in April… Continue reading

Man, 24, hit by SUV in Marysville dies; driver sought

MARYSVILLE – Police are seeking the identity of the driver of a… Continue reading

Most Read