Marysville Schools approve budget amid $18 million deficit

Aug 29, 2023, 8:38 AM | Updated: 10:53 am

marysville schools budget deficit...

Marysville School District says more layoffs are coming. (Marysville School District)

(Marysville School District)

The Marysville School Board held a special session to finalize their budget for the upcoming school year Monday night just days before it is set to begin.

The board ended up unanimously approved the 2023-24 school year budget.

The school district faces an $18 million deficit, and in May, it was announced that as many as 45 teachers are expected to be laid off.

More on Marysville schools: Budget shortfall means teacher layoffs

Many paraeducators and staff members have spent the summer in limbo, unsure if they’re going to be laid off or if they will keep their jobs.

“I know a lot of my colleagues have questions about how the district chooses to spend their money,” teacher Carolyn Alben told KIRO 7 at the end of the 2022 school year. “We were hoping that maybe we wouldn’t be in overload next year.”

Alben said she’s worried about what may come because of how she feels about her job.

“I do love to teach,” Alben said. “I love to teach math. All of my students know math is my favorite subject to teach.”

At a rally beforehand, teachers, paraeducators, and bus drivers were concerned about what the nearly $18 million dollar budget deficit might mean for their jobs.

Teachers Union President Christy Tautfest told KIRO 7 their contract expires at the end of the month, with bargaining set for Sept. 13.

“We want to bargain for things for our members, and we really need our district to be willing to bargain with us, and it’s not just about pay, of course, it’s stuff like how many adults are with kids at recess and things like that,” Tautfest said.

Thirty-five teachers were laid off last year. So, this latest round means 80 teachers have lost their jobs in Marysville in the last two years because of the budget shortfall.

More on Washington schools: Teacher shortage remains rampant heading into upcoming school year

The school district said that they are working to be very upfront about the budget shortfall and that they want to hear from the community to get their input on the complex situation.

“We must all agree to work together to meet one of the most substantial challenges in this district’s history. This is the time to collaborate and put the children first,” Marysville Schools Superintendent Zachary Robbins said at the school board meeting Aug. 21.

“We have good people in our district—a lot of good, hardworking people. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with our employee groups and anticipate honest discussions amid the financial challenges,” he added.

In addition to the 45 teacher positions being eliminated, the district cut several district and school administrative positions as well, including three teachers on special assignment, three assistant principals, three district level directors, and the Marysville online principal. Several instructional, technology and online learning programs were also cut.

Contributing: KIRO 7

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