Schools approve nearly $12 million budget

Coupeville schools passed a nearly $12 million budget, and officials say they should have enough revenue to cover expenses next year.

However, changes to how the state will be funding “basic” education after this next school year has administration and the board still scratching their heads.

Superintendent Jim Shank said the district is waiting for further explanation on what all the changes will mean for them.

Part of the state’s changes will include a $1.50 cap on local levies. Coupeville’s levy is currently $1.55 per $1,000 assessed land value.

Shank said he’s also unsure how other types of levies will fare in the future.

The district currently has an approved technology levy, which will fund things like new computers and chrome books for the next two years, but after that it’s unclear if districts will be able to run other kinds of levies.

The question, Shank said, is how the state is going to define what it considers basic education.

As for the school’s current 2017-18 budget, it includes up to $400,000 from the capital projects fund for “technology expenditures.”

The school board also approved spending $115,000 in three installments over three years funded by the technology levy to update chrome books.

As administration works through those unknowns, staff have also spent the summer facilitating projects funded through a 2015 capital project levy.

The new roof on the middle school was completed and new flooring was being laid down. Late last week, the district was constructing new administrative offices for the middle school.

Newly hired principal Geoff Kappes, an office person as well as a counselor will be housed in new offices at the middle school.

The district also installed new LED lights in the gym and in some other places.

The cost savings on the district electric bill will be significant, Shank said.

One project that hasn’t quite been going according to plans is the new grandstands.

The project keeps encountering obstacles that will delay it into the school year.

The district also found a contractor to replace the failing high school roof, a project that is not funded by the levy.

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