March 21 School Board meeting

Report from the March 21 School Board meeting
Posted on 03/22/2023

On Tuesday, March 21, the Stanwood-Camano School Board unanimously approved a Reduced Educational Program Plan, which will help the district work to create a balanced budget for the 2023-24 school year.

As detailed in our recent Budget Update messages, several factors have combined to impact our finances. Nonetheless, we are committed to ensuring fiscal integrity while focusing on student learning.

The bottom line: We are facing a potential $8.5 million deficit for the 2023-24 school year. While this is substantial, we have encountered and persevered through difficult times before and are confident we can do it again. 

“Budget reductions of this magnitude will result in a reduction of staff; most districts across the state are in the same position,” Stanwood-Camano School District superintendent Dr. Deborah Rumbaugh said. “I want to recognize that this is a challenging time statewide, and that real people are connected to each reduction we make. None of the reduction decisions are done so lightly. We care about our staff as people and employees, and we are attempting to minimize the impacts.”

Since staff make up the majority of the budget, personnel reductions are needed to balance the budget. The proposal is to reduce spending among Certificated staff by 8.6%, among Classified staff by 6.9%, and among Administrators/District Office staff by 10.6%. Non-salary costs are being reduced by 16%.

The exact number of positions proposed to be reduced is not yet known. The plan proposes reducing the budget for spending on salary, benefits, and other costs — which includes reduction of days, hours, or other expenditures that are in addition to reducing some Full-time Equivalent (FTE). However, reducing 1 FTE doesn’t always equate to reducing 1 staff position — for example, vacant positions can be left unfilled, several positions could be partially reduced to equal 1.0 FTE, or a retiring staff member’s position could be redefined in the coming school year. 

Determining the exact amount of staff reductions will take place in the coming weeks and involve analyzing state legislative outcomes, projected enrollment, building needs, and labor contract rules to finalize staffing levels.

Read the most recent budget message to Stanwood-Camano School District families HERE and at

Other School Board business

Cedarhome Elementary School principal Kimberly Caldwell updated the board on the school’s annual action plan, goals, and results from monitoring their progress.

Afterward, Principal Caldwell honored Whittaker Warbus with the Shining Star Award!

Also at the meeting, the Board heard a report from district staff about February financial information, and approved the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee's Adjusted Elementary Attendance Area, starting in the 2023-24 school year. 

For more information about the meeting, see the agenda or see a video recording of the meeting.

For more about the School Board, click HERE