Spokane Schools Worried About State Cuts

SPOKANE — Larger class sizes, fewer teachers and fewer programs are all possible impacts of potential cuts to education in Washington State, which could be affecting public schools in Spokane.

Districts, colleges, and Universities could lose up to $2 billion in funding.

Administrators from Spokane Public Schools do not know how state budget cuts will impact them because they are waiting for a final number from the state. The number is somewhere between $4 million and $12 million as of Tuesday afternoon.

The district, some teachers, and the teacher’s union held a press conference Tuesday about the cuts. This was the same day they learned the Washington State Governor is asking law makers to temporarily lift the levy lid for school districts.

With the lift, districts could collect more property taxes, meaning they could get more money than they’re collecting now, but not more than voters approved.

The governor’s office said Spokane Public Schools could collect about $1.4 million more. The Central Valley School District could collect about $1.7 million.

However, the legislature still needs to approve the idea before the schools can start implementing it.

The teachers union has said these cuts would put education back 20 years and in Tuesday’s meeting, KXLY4 asked them about that statement.

“I don’t know if its 20 years, but it is a set back absolutely,” said Maureen Ramos with the Washington Education Association.

The state has increased Spokane Public Schools money the last three years.

In a worst case scenario, if Spokane Schools lost $13 million in funding from the state, it would still collect a little more than last school year.

However the Spokane Public Schools say the cuts will still hurt because of inflation. It now costs more to run the district than it did last school year.