WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors continue to plan for the 2020-2021 general fund budget. Concerns over the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were voiced throughout the May 5 meeting.
Superintendent Wade Smith said the school board’s approach to budgeting put the district in strong financial standing, using reserves to help withstand some of the anticipated state funding dips as a result of COVID-19.
“Although we are in a strong financial position, we will need to take preventive measures to address the economic impact,” Smith said.
Smith said there are three budget scenarios for the school board to consider as it provides guidance based on varying levels of financial risks. Conservative, moderate, and aggressive budget scenarios were discussed. Planning parameters for the scenarios were based on enrollment projections, preventative maintenance levels, state funding cuts and deficit spending levels. He said state funding dips are likely to occur next year, but are expected to be more drastic during the 2021-22 school year. He said decisions made this year will have profound impacts on the next year or two as well. No decisions were made at the May 5 meeting. School board members will have another budget planning meeting May 19 and one in July before it goes up for a vote August 18.