North Thurston Public Schools Budget
Each year, NTPS leaders create a budget, which the School Board reviews and adopts in August. The budget includes all district costs, such as employee salaries and benefits, supplies, facilities, information technology, transportation, and more.
The NTPS budget is designed to achieve the goals described in our strategic plan and ensure we are good stewards of public dollars. View our 2022-23 school year budget and 4-year forecast report.
2023-24 school year budget planning
We have begun planning for the 2023-24 school year. The district has worked throughout the 2022-23 school year to manage costs. Some of the ways we are doing this include reducing building and district supplies spending, limiting staff travel, and keeping some positions vacant when employees leave. These decisions have touched every school and department in the district.
Many Washington state school districts are experiencing similar issues. There are several reasons for constrained budgets:
- Enrollment: Our enrollment is slow to get back to our pre-COVID counts. We are still down by more than 520 students from 2019-20. Most school district funding is related to student enrollment.
- Materials, supplies, and operating costs: Inflation and supply chain issues have led to higher costs to maintain district and building operations.
- Compensation: We offer competitive salaries; our salary and benefits package help to attract and retain quality staff.
- Benefits: The costs of offering benefits account for about 40% of our total staffing budget.
- Federal COVID-19 relief funding: These temporary funds have helped us balance our budget, but the money spent this year will not be replenished.
- State underfunding of special education: Our local levy picks up about $10 million of special education costs. For the 2023-24 school year, our costs are increasing by about $1.4 million, and our state funding is increasing by $2 million. Even with the increase, there is still significant underfunding.
- Loss of regionalization funding: The state reimburses districts for the average cost of an educator. Regionalization funding is funding in addition to that average cost to account for the cost of living in different parts of the state. We are currently at 1.04% and will drop to 1.015% next year, with another drop to 1.00% in the year following. This is a loss of $4 million.
NTPS monitored and weighed in on 2023 legislative decisions on key funding issues such as special education and transportation funding. The Legislature adjourned in April, and district leaders are reviewing the state budget as we prepare our 2023-24 school year budget. Read our 2023 NTPS Legislative Priorities.
District leaders are using several guiding principles when preparing our 2023-24 budget:
- Meet our contractual agreements
- Staffing levels aligned with enrollment at each school or special program
- Reduce staffing levels through attrition
- Fill necessary positions from within existing district staff
- Least impactful to student learning environment
- Least impactful to our short- and long-term strategic plan goals
- Strive for equitable reductions across employee groups
- No reduction in force
- Continue to strive for efficiencies across all areas of operations
- Improve efficiencies in delivering special education services (which are significantly underfunded by the state)
Budget Process Timeline
January / February
- Enrollment Projections - how many students are enrolled at NTPS?
- The legislative session begins - we watch this closely as they make decisions that affect our funding.
March / April
- Analyze Certified staffing with principals & directors - teacher staffing needs
- Analyze Classified staffing with principals & directors - other staffing needs
- Analyze Department budgets - initial projected budget amounts given to departments
May / June
- Once all departments and schools communicate staffing needs, we send this total personnel budget to Human Resources.
- All departments and schools send us their final budgets based upon amounts given in March/April.
- Finalize the fee schedule (lunches and other fees) and send the schedule to the Board.
July / August
- Budgets from all departments and schools, including staffing, are compiled and sent as a draft to the Board.
- The Board reviews the draft, and a presentation of the draft budget is held in July.
- In August, the Board holds a public hearing and adopts the budget.
September / December
- Current year budget monitoring through monthly reporting to the Board of Directors.
- Current year budget monitoring by principals and directors.
NTPS Investments of Federal relief funds
What are ESSER funds?
How much has NTPS received so far?
ARP-ESSER Spending Plans
How is NTPS investing these dollars?