State budget stall puts Elma Schools in flux

District funding matters were the focus of discussion at the Elma School Board’s regular meeting on Nov. 21. There, superintendent Kevin Acuff reported that the state Legislature’s failure, so far, to pass a capital budget means schools will have to wait at least until the next legislative session begins on Jan. 8.

Acuff explained that the lack of an approved capital budget means matching funds for construction of the East Grays Harbor Transportation Coop building remain unavailable.

“Hopefully, they will make movement on the capital budget early in the session,” Acuff said of the Legislature.

Turning to House Bill 2242, which was signed into law in July and seeks to meet a court mandate to fully fund basic education, Acuff reported that a meeting of the district’s levy committee was scheduled for Nov. 27 to address the legislation’s effect on the district’s levy. He said an additional meeting would be held if necessary.

Acuff noted the complexities surrounding the so-called levy swap resulting from HB 2242 and said items such as extracurricular activities and text book adoption are among those which could potentially be affected.

“We’re still going to go into (this discussion) without having full knowledge of what things are allowable expenses under the money we will be getting from the state,” Acuff said.

A recommendation from the levy committee is expected at the school board’s next meeting on Dec. 13.