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BSD facing financial crunch

With gasoline and groceries taking more and more out family budgets, the Bremerton School District is not immune to the financial crisis that is becoming commonplace throughout the nation.

“The Bremerton School District is facing the same challenges neighboring districts face: allocating dwindling resources,” said BSD community services coordinator Krista Carlson.

The district is inviting the public to a community forum in the district boardroom from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 6 and May 7 to learn about the challenges and to participate in discussions about allocating limited resources, Carlson said.

“There will be information available on the budget process for the coming year, and the impact rising fuel and food costs are having on the district,” she said. “In addition, information will be shared on some of the future planned initiatives from a recent study group and how budget constraints for the coming year will impact some of the plans,” Carlson said.

When it comes to the reality of the possible dire financial straits, the district is still working on the numbers, said BSD finance director Wayne Lindberg.

“We just received revenue estimates from OSPI and should have better info by Friday,” Lindberg said Wednesday afternoon.

The best guess for dollar amount of the rising food and fuel costs is between 10 and 20 percent, he said.

When it comes to programs and services on the chopping block, Lindberg emphasized that nothing will be decided until the district has more accurate information.

“Like most districts, we will look at all services closely to minimize the impact on any one area,” he said, adding that hopefully no personnel cuts will have to be made.

The community has already stepped up to help the district financially, so the crunch doesn’t stem from a lack of community support, he said.

“Since the resources are so limited, it is important for the district to know what is important to the community. The board represents the community and makes the final decisions based on what they hear from the community,” he said. “The final budget will be ready in early August, and BSD is committed to retaining all-day K (kindergarten).”

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