School Board Report, July 30, 2019

The school board met for a special meeting this week on Tuesday, July 30. Three school board candidates attended: Malia Hollowell, Pete Miller, and Lea Rigtrup. Katrina Montgomery was excused from the meeting to attend a school safety conference on behalf of the district. There was a public hearing scheduled about the budget for year 2019-2020, but no one signed up to speak.

The rest of the meeting focused on the district’s technology plan, its aims, and the cost required to get there. Background: A technology model review ad hoc committee (consisting of district employees, community members, parents, and students) met several times during this past school year, and they had presented their overall priorities to the school board in a previous meeting. Afterwards, Tahoma School District (TSD) administration presented a plan to meet the committee’s goals. The total tab? $22 million. Wow. That would be the amount requested from voters in the next tech levy to hit the ballots.

This week, the school board requested that TSD staff revisit the plan and see where costs could be cut. Mary Jane Glaser, school board member, summed up the board’s feelings this way, “All five of us [on the school board] are conservative about spending.” This meeting focused on staff recommendations of how to cut some of the costs in the original estimate.

I was impressed by the level of detail in the recommendations. Not only did they mention where spending could be cut, but they also looked at the effects of those cuts on student experience. For those of you who were not at the meeting, please know that the TSD board and administration is committed to 1) keeping the priorities given by the community’s technology committee and 2) reducing costs. If you would like more information it can be obtained from the TSD district office.

I feel that attending these meetings helps me stay connected to the rest of the school district. If you're ever interested in attending, let me know (, and I'd be happy to meet up with you there. Thanks!

Michelle Smart, PATH president