Cascade School District is decreasing its budget for the 2024-25 school year.

The District currently has a budget of about $21 million but that figure is expected to be downsized by at least 5% ($1 million to $1.5 million) for the next school year.

Cascade Superintendent, Tracey Edou, says there are several factors which have contributed to the decrease, including inflation and a decline in enrollment.

"Everything costs more than it used to cost and we have fewer students, so we need to right-size our budget for the next school year."

In 2019, the district had an enrollment of 1,254 students, but that number dropped during the COVID pandemic.

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Edou says there were to 1,199 students enrolled in the district to start the current school year and that number has also gone down since then.

"Our enrollment projections for this school year started pretty much dead on - I think it was actually to the student. But what has surprised us is that we've had some students move out of the district during the school year."

The district currently has an enrollment of 1,168 students and expects that figure to hold for the 2024-25 school year.

The biggest cuts the District will make to address the shortfall will be to its staffing levels, with a reduction of 26 employees - mostly through retirements and resignations, as well as four layoffs.

Edou says the staffing reductions are not expected to cause a dramatic increase to class sizes in the district and steps are being taken to keep its arts and music programs from being heavily impacted.

She also believes errant census data taken in 2020 has impacted the district's budget.

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