The Seaside School District is proposing a $22.2 million budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year to continue pursuing the district’s top priorities and strategic plan adopted in November, superintendent Sheila Roley explained during the budget committee’s first meeting April 16.

“Our budget is clearly based on the core values of our district to provide our students with equitable, safe learning environments, an engaging and well-rounded education, and a focus on collective wellness and community partnerships as we pursue our mission of strengthening community, inspiring possibility, ensuring opportunity,” Roley stated in her budget message.

During the meeting, held directly before the district’s regular board meeting, budget manager Justine Hill reviewed the proposed budget, large portions of which contain no major changes. The budget committee is comprised of several community members, business owners, and parents of students currently served by the district; members include Kelli Brenden, Darrell Walker, Nancy McCune, Cathy Peinhardt, Mary Bess Gloria, Ryan Dewey and A.J. Wahl.

The district’s strong beginning general fund balance of approximately $3.18 million “has been anticipated,” Hill said, adding the goal is to be able to absorb increasing state pension costs “without having to make reductions.”

“The district does anticipate that consistently over the next 10 years, unless something is done, the public employee retirement system rates will consistently increase every biannual,” Hill said.

Additionally, the budget incorporates a 2.5% salary increase for licensed, confidential and administrative employees and a 2.25 percent salary increase for classified staff.

Strategic plan and construction work

The proposed budget reflects an approximately 3.6% increase over the adopted 2018-19 budget of about $21.4 million. Other components of the district’s overall budget include special revenue funds, debt service funds, capital project funds, and trust and agency funds, which are designated for specific purposes or functions.

During the 2019-20 school year, the district plans to implement several evidence-based practices to ensure students’ success, Roley said. The goals they have set for the next five year are that by June 2024, all students K-12 will be on track to graduate and be prepared with a plan beyond high school and will develop the social and emotional skills to be positive community members.

Additions in the proposed budget for next year to support the strategic plan, along with the district’s construction project to move all schools outside the tsunami inundation zone, include:

The addition of a full-time classroom teacher at Broadway Middle School to alleviate large classes sizes.

An increase in professional development funds for both teachers and educational assistants.

Extra duty funds to support teacher team leaders who will support classroom practices.

An increase in executive administration expenditures to support the addition of an assistant superintendent to support both the strategic plan and to provide oversight for the construction project, both in 2019-20 and the first half of 2020-21.

The district anticipates a large portion of the general obligation Bond funds will be spent during the upcoming fiscal year, as the construction project continues progressing. With the near completion of the middle and high school building, the district will now tackle construction of the new elementary school gymnasium; seismic improvements and updating Seaside Heights Elementary School; completion of most site work, including road construction; and a variety of processes in preparation for moving in August 2020.

The budget committee will meet again May 21, the target date for approval by the budget committee. On June 18, the district will hold a public hearing on the budget as approved by the budget committee and enact resolutions to adopt the budget, make appropriations, and declare the tax levy.

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