Sequim: School Board gets an earful on where to make $1.25 million worth of budget cuts

SEQUIM — Sequim School District board members heard Monday night from members of the public — and their own employees — on where to make $1.25 million in proposed cuts due to a recent levy failure.

It was the third of three public hearings in which the board and Schools Superintendent Garn Christensen solicited input on how the district might compensate for losing revenues from a two-year, $5.44 million maintenance and operations levy request, defeated Feb. 3 in a close special election.

The district will try again with a two-year, $5.16 million request in an all-mail election ending May 18.

But with union contracts for faculty and staff up for renewal or cancellation by May 15, Christensen has given the board a menu of possible cuts ranging from athletics to other extracurricular activities that could take effect as early as April 13.

Comments from the public attending Monday night’s School Board meeting made it clear the decision would not be cut and dry.

Priorities expressed ranged from preserving competitive sports to foreign languages, music to technological education, and even avoiding the replacement of Vince Riccobene, the first-year principal at Helen Haller Elementary School — a move which may become necessary due to pre-existing seniority rules.

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