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District won’t be changing school times

EVERETT – The start and dismissal times for Everett schools won’t be changing next school year.
The district determined last week it won’t change school bell times because it believes the state Legislature will provide more money for K-12 transportation next year, Everett School District spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said.
The district proposed changing school schedules to save money because currently the district has to dispatch extra buses to cover ones stuck in traffic.
In a district survey, parents overwhelmingly said they didn’t want school times to change.
The district sought to save $163,000 by changing the school day 10 to 20 minutes earlier for some schools and later for others.
The district had to commit to letting parents know next year’s school times before the end of this school year, Waggoner said.
Superintendent Gary Cohn revealed the decision at last week’s school board meeting. Numerous parents praised and “liked” the news on Facebook.
The district won’t reverse course if the state fails to give more money for transportation, Waggoner said.
The Legislature is still working on the state budget, but the spokesman of the state’s teacher lobby said it’s likely more money is coming.
“There’s a very, very good chance the final budget will increase funding for transportation,” said Rich Wood, spokesman for the Washington Education Association, last week.
The Legislature is required to increase K-12 funding as its constitutional paramount duty as a result of a 2012 state Supreme Court decision.
The Legislature opened up a second special session to hammer out the budget. Legislators currently have a July 1 deadline to finish the work or face a government shutdown.
The district pays 60 cents for every mile of transportation costs, and transportation costs come out of the same fund for teachers and textbooks.
Nobody knows yet how much more money the state will give for K-12 transportation.
If the money doesn’t arrive, the district will eat the cost and try to find efficiencies in its routes, and then work on finding transportation savings for the 2014-2015 school year, Waggoner said.


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