Skip survey header

2019 Budget Survey

2019 Budget Survey

Introduction
As we close the calendar on 2018 and begin plans for the 2019-20 school year, the Superintendent and Board of Directors are seeking input from parents, students, staff, and the community to help set priorities as the 2019-20 school year budget is developed. 

This survey consists of a series of forced choice questions (respondents will be asked to choose between two valuable investments, then a natural ranking emerges). A prioritization activity is also part of the survey.

Below is important background information that may be helpful as you respond to the questions in the survey. If you prefer, you can scroll down to start the survey.

Background, Survey Details, and Questions & Answers
The new K-12 funding model passed by the State Legislature in 2018 that was touted as “fully funding” schools, actually adversely affects Tumwater School District. There were districts which this new model benefits, and those it does not because the revenue was not distributed equitably. The new funding model actually results in further inequities between school districts. Our 2019-20 projected shortfall is currently estimated to be approximately $5.5 million (after the School Board reduced the Minimum Fund Balance Policy at a recent Board meeting) – which means significant staff, program, and other spending reductions will be necessary. You will hear this common message from many districts in our region and throughout the state.

There are three main reasons for our shortfall:
  1. The new state funding formula reduces our voter-approved Maintenance and Operations (M&O) levy funding by approximately 50% percent while allocating more state funding. However, the net gain in overall funding is not keeping pace with market-based salary and benefits our Board has committed to maintain.
  2. Under the old state funding formula, districts with highly educated and/or experienced teachers were allocated more funding to recognize that more teachers were placed in the more expensive “cells” of the former state salary schedule. Tumwater’s teacher experience factor is one of the highest in the state; and 50% of our teachers have attained the experience and education to warrant placement in the most highly paid cells of the former State salary schedule. In the new state funding formula, districts are allocated $65,216 for each teacher, regardless of experience and/or education. Our average teacher salary is $81,727, which is $16,511 more per teacher less than what the state provides us for these positions.
  3. In the new state school funding formula, 93 districts are allocated “regionalization” funds intended to reflect cost-of-living differences between communities. Tumwater is not allocated any regionalization funding. However, Tumwater must compete and hire and retain teachers in a labor market that includes districts that have been granted a bonus 6, 12, or 18 percent in additional state funding for teachers’ salaries.
Due to the state’s changes in K-12 funding which reduced the district’s levy, significant salary increases to staff which exceed state revenue, and the state not fully funding all staff positions, programs, and salaries, the Tumwater School District seeks your input as it considers priorities for funding and reduction decisions moving forward.
 
The priorities identified through the survey results will be carefully considered as the 2019-20 school year budget is developed. 

Survey Details
This survey contains two parts:
  1. Forced choice questions: A set of questions forces respondents to choose between two valuable investments; a natural ranking emerges across quick and easy questions as you simply choose between two expenditure items. 
  2. Levy Priorities:  As stated above, our Maintenance & Operations (M&O) Levy funding will be reduced by approximately 50% percent. The district will lose more than $8 million dollars of the voter-approved levy in the 2019-2020 school year. This area of the survey focuses on a ranking of what our voter- approved local levy has been funding.
Questions & Answers
What is not identified for inclusion in the forced-choice questions and why?
  • Administrative reductions. These reductions have already started and are reflected in the current reduction projection. As has been the practice historically, the Superintendent and School Board will first carefully consider reductions in administration, maintenance, and operations before any reductions to schools. The Board is interested in what the community, parents, and staff value most regarding current spending.
  • Salary increases. We know that TSD salaries must be compared to peer districts and remain competitive. Employees will have a voice in this discussion through collective bargaining. Therefore, salary discussions will remain in the collective bargaining realm.
  • Staff development. This is also an investment included in collective bargaining. Outside of bargaining, the district will be reducing professional development spending.
  • School security. Bond-funded investments in security and/or safety equipment or systems are not included in the survey. Bond funds cannot be used for basic education or operational costs. Our voter-approved bond is not impacted by the state's new K-12 funding model.
  • Special Education. State and Federal law requires public school districts to provide these services. Spending decisions are determined on student needs and collective bargaining.
Why are there so many questions?
The survey addresses a mix of instructional and operational items to understand the relative value of each item compared to each of the others. A ranking from most important to least important will be tallied to inform budget planning and reduction decisions.

When will the survey results be made public?
The survey tool will be open until February 15. Preliminary results may be presented to the School Board at the February 28th meeting. Final results will presented at the March 14th meeting. Following presentation to the Board, we will provide a link on the Financial Services website to provide the results to the community.

Will my answers be anonymous?
Yes. We cannot identify your name in the electronic submission process. We do ask that you describe yourself among our respondent self-identification options. We realize these categories will not be perfect. However, please choose what best describes you.

How were the items on the survey chosen, and by whom?
The items were identified based on current expenditures that may be reduced. The Superintendent and School Board will consider this input for the 2019-20 school year. 

How much is the deficit?
As of the release of this survey tool, we are projecting a $5.5 million. However, this deficit projection will be updated frequently as the district continues to analyze actual expenditures and new costs for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Further, if the legislature takes action to address inequities in the new K-12 funding model this spring, the budget outlook will be adjusted accordingly to reflect these changes.

What if I have additional questions and/or comments?
You may email budget2019@tumwater.k12.wa.us to provide additional comments not addressed in the survey. Questions regarding our budget planning process may also be sent to this email address.

Definitions
Below you will read definitions of the categories you will be choosing in the forced-choice survey. As you read each question in the survey, you will be asked: "If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more?"
  • Athletics and Activities - Athletics and activities (coaches, athletic directors, C-teams, activity budgets, student fees, and transportation)
  • Curriculum/Instructional Support - Program reviews, instructional coaches, instructional support staff (certified and classified)
  • K-12 Core Teacher Staffing -Teacher staffing required to meet minimum state learning requirements
  • Supplemental Certificated Staffing - Staffing beyond core program requirements (librarians, counselors, music, technology)
  • Mental Health/Behavioral Supports - Counseling, mental health support, behavioral support staff, social work, and/or guidance resources
  • Custodial Services  - Custodial services and building cleaning cycle
  • School Nurse Services - School nurses and frequency of availability
  • Grounds Maintenance  - Grounds and fields maintenance
  • Paraprofessional Campus Support - Paraprofessional support services (recess, lunch, bus area, campus supervision)
Part 1 - Forced Choice Questions: 
The following survey is a series of forced choice questions that, when results are totaled, will give a clear priority for the ranking of choices. To take the survey, you will answer by simply choosing between two current expenditure items. While all of these expenditures are worthwhile investments that help improve our delivery of education, difficult reduction decisions will be necessary for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The choices you make in the survey will help inform the district as to which items are the highest priorities in our community.

Thank you for your time and interest.
1. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
2. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
3. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
4. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
5. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
6. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
7. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
8. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
9. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
10. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
11. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
12. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
13. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
14. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
15. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
16. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
17. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
18. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
19. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
20. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
21. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
22. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
23. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
24. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
25. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
26. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
27. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
28. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
29. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
30. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
31. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
32. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
33. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
34. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
35. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
36. If forced to choose between two investments, which do you value more? *This question is required.
Part 2 - Local Levy Funding:  
In February 2016, voters approved a four year levy (2017 - $15,298,000; 2018 - $15,910,000; 2019 - $16,547,000; and 2020 - $17,209,000) which support the following activities:
 
Teachers & Paraprofessionals
Smaller Class Sizes
Advanced Placement
Athletics
Band, Orchestra, Choir & The Arts
Career & Technical Education
Instructional Materials
Transportation
Staff Development
Building Maintenance & Equipment Repairs

The new K-12 funding model allows Tumwater School District to collect only $1.50 per thousand or approximately 50% of the voter approved levy. This is a reduction of $8,238,642 for 2019 and $8,568,307 for 2020 based on 2019 preliminary assessed property valuation provided by the Thurston County Assessor’s Office.

Also, the State Legislature imposed restrictions on what the local levy can be used for. The levy cannot support anything that is related to basic education.

Please rank the remaining ten categories 1 to 10 in order of importance with 1 being the highest level of importance for the activities supported by our February 2016 voter approved levy: 
37. Please rank the following 1 to 10. *This question is required. Order the items from the following list. First select an item with the spacebar to show a menu of possible ranking positions. Next, click a ranking position to order it in the ranked list. Note the menu will display more ordering options as you add items to the ranked list.
Specify Your Relationship to TSD
 
38. Please identify yourself - select all that apply *This question is required.
39. Which school/s are you associated with - select all that apply  *This question is required.