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News / Clark County News

Woodland School District prepares to cut staff after levy failure

Sports will return to high schools and middle schools however

By Minka Atkinson, The Daily News
Published: May 2, 2024, 2:14pm

WOODLAND — With a gap in the budget thanks to 2023’s failed levy and the end of federal COVID-19 relief funds, the Woodland School Board is determining what cuts will need to be made for the 2024-25 school year.

“None of us wants to be in the position we are, but we are where we are,” Superintendent Michael Green said during the April 25 meeting. “It is a difficult place and some tough decisions have been made.”

Voters approved a levy in February, but that levy doesn’t begin collections until 2025, so the district remains in a tight spot financial for the 2024-25 school year.

The district lost was about $3 million short in funding for the 2023-24 school year budget due to the levy failure. It cut high school and middle school sports and all sports transportation, as well as staff and a dual-language program.

A further $1.6 million reduction is expected for the 2024-25 school year, as the district will lose access to emergency federal funds issued during the COVID-19 pandemic that it used to mitigate some of the effect of the levy loss.

The resolution recommends cutting five employees and reassigning five others. The cuts are fewer than expected because of high turnover leaving positions open, Green said.

Thirteen employees have resigned, retired or gone on leave during the school year. The district could save money by not filling those positions for next year.

Although it would add an extra expense, the district is committed to restoring athletic programs that were cut last year, Green said.

Several parents raised concerns at the meeting about Woodland’s music program potentially facing significant reductions, but the district stated in a Facebook post Tuesday that it will continue to offer both instrumental and vocal music at the middle and high schools.

Final decisions about staff reductions and program changes have yet to be made.

The district may find that more or fewer cuts are necessary as more information becomes available, Green said. The district typically finalizes the budget for the upcoming school year in July.