The Blaine school board passed a $21 million budget Monday night that avoids dramatic staff cuts by reducing expenditures in many areas, but unless revenues increase the future may require such cuts to balance the books. Superintendent Ron Spanjer earlier this year presented the board with alternatives for cutting the budget after the state advised school districts to expect unspecified cuts in educational funding.
This year’s state funding for Blaine was cut by over $1.6 million, so the board chose the most austere of the budgets, cutting about $1.2 million in expenditures. One major area of savings, certified staffing, will decline by the equivalent of a little over two positions but this year Blaine also projects 72 fewer students than last year. Classified staffing reductions in hours will save about $130,000. Expenditures exceed revenue by about $400,000 in this budget which means dipping into district reserves. Despite that, reserves still be at about $1 million by the year’s end.
In other actions the board recognized Bob and Pam Christianson of Pacific Building Center for donating 40 gallons of paint toward refurbishing district buildings, and hired former Meridian high school athletic director Steve Miller as Blaine’s new athletic coordinator. Miller will assist Wayne Vezzetti who became the new Blaine high school vice principal last year when that position was combined with that of athletic director, Vezetti’s former position. Aaron Smith, Blaine middle school assistant principal for the last four years, has resigned to become a principal in the Camas School district just east of Vancouver, Washington.
Spanjer also noted that he plans to be in Point Roberts for a meeting with parents on Monday, August 10 at 5 p.m. in the primary school.