AP NEWS

Mead School District to make decision on budget cuts Tuesday

May 7, 2019

The waiting will soon be over at the Mead School District.

Two weeks after hearing impassioned pleas on behalf of several endangered programs, the district’s board of directors is expected to make a final decision Tuesday night.

The budget discussion will be one of the final items in a meeting that will begin at 6 p.m. at the district office at 2323 E. Farwell Road in Mead.

Like many districts, Mead is facing a projected budget deficit next year – in this case about $12 million. Three weeks ago, the district offered roughly $15 million in proposed cuts, leaving the board the option to spare up to $3 million in programs and personnel.

During meetings held April 24 and 25, more than 100 speakers spoke on behalf of many programs. Several hundred people attended each meeting.

At the top of the list for most speakers were the Riverpoint Academy, the English Language Learners program, the Mead Alternative High School and the jobs of dozens of paraeducators.

After that meeting, board president Carmen Green said the board would “have more questions to ask of our district leadership and looking at all of the programs a little more thoroughly.”

Since that meeting, Green said that additional help from the Legislature will have little effect on the $12 million deficit.

With about 10,500 students, Mead is the third-largest district in Spokane County.

Board members at the second-largest district, Central Valley, also face a deficit of about $12 million.

They held a special meeting and work session Monday night, but aren’t expected to make a final decision until their next regular board meeting on May 13.