Budget Priorities 2024-25
Over the next several months we will be providing the community with opportunities for engagement as we develop a plan to address a $10 million deficit. The School Board recently approved the following parameters for developing a budget reduction plan to be shared with the School Board in April.
This page will be updated to include community engagement opportunities.
Information on how the Bellevue School District is funded can be found here.
On December 14th, 2023 at the Regular Meeting of the BSD School Board, Dr. Aramaki announced that the District would be pausing the consideration of middle school consolidation for the next two years. Throughout the fall months, the District provided multiple opportunities for parents, students, staff and community to participate in the Middle School Consolidation Study including listening sessions and a survey. The District listened and learned what people love about their schools and what their hopes are for our students. In addition to the community feedback, the following budget-related factors influenced the decision to not recommend the consolidation of middle schools at this time:
- In spring of 2023, the District decreased year over year expenditures by $24 million.
- Enrollment for this school year increased slightly. This was driven by the enrollment of non-resident students, and some returning from private or home school.
- The projected decline in enrollment is not yet impacting middle schools as it has elementary schools.
Waiting two years to consider this option will provide time to see if an increase in innovative programming, a potential post-pandemic enrollment rebound and more affordable housing will reverse or minimize the projected enrollment decline.
The work ahead of us is to shift the community conversation from possible middle school consolidation to budget prioritization As Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations, Melissa deVita indicated in her budget update to the Board on December 14, 2024, we are anticipating approximately a $10 million budget deficit for 2024-2025, potentially $15 million in 2025-2026 as well as another potential $15 million in 2026-2027. Please see her budget presentation for more details.
Throughout the months of February and March, we will provide the community with opportunities to help us define budget priorities as we develop a plan to reduce spending over the next three years including $10 million in budget reductions for 2024-25. We will continue to use our Equity Driven Decision-making process to guide our community engagement. During the Middle School Consolidation Study, we heard requests for more information on how the BSD is funded and more budget information. Funding information can be found on the How is the District Funded? page. Additional information related to the budget can be found on the District Budget Information page.
We also encourage families to donate to the Bellevue Schools Foundation, the District’s fundraising partner. Foundation grants are directed to critical programs and to initiatives in each school which aren’t possible through funding from local, state, or federal budgets.
Scroll down for topics in this section, contact information, and news and events.
Middle School Consolidation Study Links
News and Events
Superintendent Aramaki shares a message with the community regarding his decision to pause the consideration of consolidating middle schools to address BSD’s enrollment and budget challenges.Read More
Community feedback from the recent community forums and districtwide survey has been published. The district has also shared an update on the study and what the BSD learning community can expect next in the process.Read More
Learn more about the district’s sources of money and how we can spend them. In school districts, we have multiple buckets of funds where our money is accounted for. Each of these funds has designated uses and we as a district are limited in how we can transfer money between these funds based on state law. Read More
Thank you to everyone who participated in community forums over the past few weeks and provided feedback on the ongoing Middle School Consolidation Study. The district is grateful to over 700 people who took the time to attend the in-person and online events, review and react to the demographer reports, share their perspectives and questions, and brainstorm priorities for the middle school experience.Read More
The two demographer reports for the district’s Middle School Consolidation Study are now available for review and discussion at the upcoming community engagement events. The BSD community may also share their feedback in an online survey.Read More
Community engagement for the Middle School Consolidation Study will begin the week of October 23. Community Forums will be held at each of the five comprehensive middle schools, where participants can review the demographer findings, discuss the implications, and share thoughts with district leaders.Read More
Superintendent Aramaki shares a message with middle school families regarding the Middle School Consolidation Study. He shares details on the enrollment challenge the district is currently facing, what the BSD learning community can expect moving forward, and more.Read More
Having right-sized the number of elementary schools in the 2022-2023 school year by consolidating two schools to accommodate lower enrollment, the Bellevue School District made a commitment to continue to study enrollment at our middle schools and the implication of our declining enrollment on our facilities and operating budget.Read More