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KIRO 7 Seattle

‘I’m worried for my kids education’: Olympia School District making major budget cuts

By Gwen Baumgardner,


The Olympia School District joins with several districts across the state, forced to make budget cuts for the upcoming school year.

Olympia schools are facing an estimated $11.5 million shortfall. School board members say that difficult cuts are ahead.

Some of the cuts include reducing the para-educator staff by 26%, increasing class sizes for all students, and eliminating art teachers at each elementary school.

“I’m worried for my kids’ education,” says Romeo, an Olympia parent.

Parent, Sara, agrees. “It’s nerve-wracking when you hear about it for our kids.”

Other proposed cuts include reducing bus routes and bus monitors, eliminating several social workers, and possibly eliminating middle school sports.

“When you hear Olympia school district you think of a positive, great reputation. So, to think about there not being arts or sports for our kids. That’s a big disappointment,” says Sara.

However, unlike the Bellevue and Seattle districts, the Olympia School board is not proposing the closure or consolidation at any schools for the next year.

“I think, with allows us to take [away] what would have been an incredibly traumatic thing for our community to go through,” says Superintendent Patrick Murphy about the prospect of closing schools. “I was happy that we were able to take that off the table.”

The district plans to address the deficit and determine the cuts needed by mid-April.

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