The Eatonville School District is facing $1.5 million deficit for the 2019-2020 school year. 

In her letter to school district staff, Superintendent Krestin Bahr states spending cuts will not be enough to reduce costs, therefore positions will have to be eliminated. 

"It was a difficult day for all of us who have loved, nurtured and built Eatonville School District into the highly regarded, award-winning school district it has become," Bahr states in her letter, which was sent to staff the press on April 15. 

The legislation around tax levies has been the key component to the lack of funds, according to the district. The amount of money the district received from levies has decreased by 58 percent. According to her letter, Bahr and the school district has been working with legislators to change the state formula so levied funds can become more accessible again. 

Other factors cited were increases in insurance costs, staffing, medical benefits for staff and utilities. The anticipated expenditures for the 2019-2020 school year are $25 million, by comparison to the $23.5 million in revenue.

School levies are property taxes voted on locally and require a supermajority to pass. Funds from levies are used by school districts in a variety of ways, everything from maintenance to enrichment and early development programs. The expected amount of income from levies sits at $2.6 million, though there will not be a conclusive budget until the legislative sessions ends. 

Per Washington State law, all staff who are certified will be notified by May 15 if they are not to return the coming year. 

"We are committed to treating every individual with respect and dignity while upholding applicable state laws and local collective bargaining agreement requirements," states Bahr.. "We feel so strongly about the quality of our teaching force and support staff along with the quality of the education our students are receiving, we are committed to making any staffing changes with compassion, humanity and transparency."

Bahr also encouraged everyone associated with the school district, including staff, students, parents and anyone else living in Eatonville, to contact their legislators about the levy changes and how they might impact the school district. 

"We need everyone to advocate for the restoration of our local levy so that we can continue to provide the quality educational programs and activities our community has come to expect," Bahr states.

The scheduled end of the legislative sessions is set for April 28.