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Discussion of school’s fate, budget cuts continues

5:49 am March 27th, 2013

The Eatonville School Board is about a month away from a possible decision to close Columbia Crest Elementary School, most likely forever.
That and other potential actions to improve the Eatonville School District’s financial situation will be the topic of a community meeting hosted by the board at 6 p.m. tonight in the Eatonville High School auditorium.
Reduced state and federal funding and declining student enrollment are creating a budget shortage for the district, forcing the board to consider deep cuts in spending. The deepest would come from closing Columbia Crest, which district officials say would save $500,000 to $700,000.
Other possible cuts range from eliminating some teaching and administrative jobs to closing the swimming pool at the high school.
The proposed closure of Columbia Crest, which has 147 students, has generated the most community debate. About 75 people attended a board study session on the budget earlier this month at Weyerhaeuser Elementary School. Most of the ones who spoke during a public comment period were opposed to closing the school. They suggested ways of keeping it open in some other format, such as using private funding to convert it to a school for only high-achieving students.
Board president Bob Homan said a possible closure “is not off the table, but no decision has been made.” If the school is to close, that decision must come before before May 15, the date when teachers must be notified of any layoffs. To accomplish that, the board would probably vote at its last meeting in April.
Homan said the board is weighing the Columbia Crest option carefully, because closing it “would be final.” The school is in a lahar zone in the event of an eruption by Mount Rainier. If the district closed Columbia Crest and later wanted to reopen it, government regulations tied to the lahar designation would limit its occupancy to no more than 100 people – students and staff combined. The district wouldn’t reopen it under those restrictions, Homan said.
A final budget for the 2013-14 school year is expected to be approved in July.

3 Responses to Discussion of school’s fate, budget cuts continues

  1. Eric Watson Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Ya, close the school on down. Home schooling kids are better off. The parents are better teachers and there isnt improper raised students with bad ideas giving those home schooled children thoughts to ponder on. I say dump all public schools and the government pay the people with our tax money to teach our own kids so we dont have to worry about the government squandering our tax money in the wrong place.

  2. James Jones Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Only parents that cannot teach their children how to function in society have to worry about sending their children to schools. Let’s face it, home-schooled children are weird, do not know how to function in a society that includes individuals with thoughts and beliefs that are different from their own, all because of their parents. Of course, one should not be surprised that that parents that home school without accountability would request government handouts.

  3. Eric Watson Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    James I guess you are not smart enough to home school your children. Did you know Germany pays mothers to breast feed their children for a years time? Did you know that America took your birth certificate and created a fictitious entity and took a 1.5 million dollar loan against you? Its called the Straw Hat Fund. If the government can hand out billions to other countries it should support the families who are smart enough to teach their own kids something. Rather than allowing a bunch of wanabes teach something America calls education. I am a Jack of all Trades. My children follow and have their own beliefs and some I dont agree with and thats the God thing….which is a subject that does not exsist….but millions think so but cant prove any part of it. Might want to watch some Danial Boone. You might learn something.

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