Mead School Board to readdress school boundaries in Thursday meeting

Mead School Board to readdress school boundaries in Thursday meeting
Mead School District

As Mead School Board members juggle the many variables of budgeting along with increased expenditures from new state requirements, they are going to be readdressing the school boundaries for the district.

The boundary planning had been put on hold several months ago after the district received increased state funding for capitol projects, potentially allowing them to build a tenth elementary school to help deal with overcrowding.

Currently, some students are bussed to schools in different parts of the district because their assigned schools are full.

Board members said some of the especially crowded schools include Prairie View Elementary and Midway.

RELATED: Mead School Board consideres levy to help cover $12 million budget shortfall

The board will decide on setting a timeline for adopting new boundaries. They said they have several factors they will have to consider over the next few months that will impact those boundaries and whether they go with a nine elementary school system or a ten.

The board has almost enough money in their capitol budget; money that can only be used for building schools — to build a tenth school — however, they don’t necessarily have the money to run the school with the $12 million shortfall.

Board President Carmen Green told KXLY the district will be developing two, four-year budget projections in July; one with that tenth school included and one without to see if its feasible. This will allow them to plan without the expectation of a levy. The board on Tuesday discussed that they would seriously be considering asking voters to fund a $1 per $1000 of assessed property value to help fund the district.

That levy would have to be approved by OSPI and would appear on the November ballot. If passed it would help raise around $6.5 million.

A passed levy would also help potentially fund the opening of a tenth elementary, allowing them money to operate it.

Green said the board would be committed to finalizing boundary discussions by the end of this year or early next year, in order to give parents a heads up as two already planned schools under construction will be opening in the fall.

Board members said they are trying to make boundary decisions in ways that are sound financially and are minimally invasive to parents and students, by not moving them around the district multiple times if plans and funding changes.

Part of the overcrowding in the district comes from rapid growth, especially in the Five Mile area and in other parts of the district where a number of multifamily complexes have gone in and are currently under construction.

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