AP NEWS

Spokane Public Schools to hold three listening sessions next week on budget

May 9, 2019

Spokane Public Schools is facing a budget crisis, but doesn’t want to go it alone.

Next week at three Spokane high schools, the district will hold open-house-style listening sessions with the community on all facets of the budget – and some hot-button issues.

District leaders will also facilitate small-group table discussions.

Topics were chosen based on feedback received from the community, district spokesman Brian Coddington said.

They include the elementary school day, library model, salaries, staffing impacts, administrative staffing, middle school construction, special education, class sizes and the possibility of a supplemental local levy.

Comments from the table discussions will be recorded. The district will also pass out comment cards.

Sessions will be Tuesday at Shadle Park High School, Wednesday at Rogers and Thursday at Ferris.

All sessions will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., but their informal style will allow citizens to drop in and leave any time they wish, Coddington said.

Participants can roam freely from table to table, focusing on topics that interest them most – or visit them all.

The idea, Coddington said, is to make the sessions meaningful for participants, especially those who may not be as comfortable with the formality of testifying at a board meeting.

The listening sessions will be held in addition to the traditional budget hearings hosted by the board.