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Everett School District may cut 140 jobs due to budget hole

Everett Schools is facing a projected $27.9 million budget shortfall for next school year.
Though several funding factors for 2023-24 are yet to be known, “we do know that our expenses outweigh our revenues,” said Everett Public Schools spokeswoman Kathy Reeves, “so we are taking this time to right-size our district.”
Everett currently projects $382.3 million of revenue in 2023-24 against $410.2 million in expenditures.
The Everett School Board voted 5-0 to approve a Reduced Educational Program to address the shortfall.
The district cites the rising costs of goods and services, increased staffing costs, state and federal cuts in special purpose funding, and future unpredictability as reasons for the deficit.
Largely the shortage comes from a combined $16.3 million worth of cuts in federal and state funding for special purposes. Everett will lose $13.3 million in federal special purpose funding for 2023-24. Another $3 million will be slashed from state special purpose funding, which is used toward special education.
Offset against what the district forecasts for increases in local tax revenue and state tax revenue, overall it would have less revenue against much higher expenses for next year.
Many school districts face deficits next year with the expiration of federal money to help with pandemic relief, Reeves said.
“The state has typically underfunded special education even though it is considered general education,” Reeves said. “It is part of our, and other districts, legislative priorities to ask the state to fully fund special education but to this point they have not.”
Most of the savings in the new budget -- $12.75 million – would be from staff reductions in central office and operational support. An additional $8.1 million will be saved from reduced classroom staffing. A further $3 million comes from reducing school administration.
A “good portion” of the 142 full-time equivalent positions eliminated in 2023-24 will be managed through attrition and non-renewed vacancies, Reeves said.
For example, nearly $1.2 million will be saved by reducing the hours of COVID-19-related paraeducators.
Discontinuing the Everett Virtual Academy, launched in 2021, saves another $1.3 million.
The academy’s 140 students were given the options of returning to full-time in-person learning at their neighborhood school, participating in Port Gardner K-12, participating in Lighthouse Cooperative, or looking to find an alternative virtual option.
“We are committed to making reductions that will have the least impact on our students and will continue to provide rigorous instruction in a safe and welcoming environment,” Reeves said.
She noted that the current budget numbers will change after the state legislative session ends this spring, because teacher salaries are based on a cost-of-living adjustment that has yet to be approved.
But “we do not expect a bail out” from Olympia, representatives noted in a Powerpoint presentation to the school board on the Reduced Educational Program.
“This has not been an easy process for any of us,” wrote Superintendent Ian Saltzman in a March message on the district website. “We are working hard to right-size our district and ensure our expenses match our revenues next year and into the future.”
Budget updates are available at



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