“Due to the Kent School District budget crisis, some schools have been unable to purchase paper goods,” read a flyer, which was distributed to parents. “Educators are working to take some of the pressure off of the school’s budget by collecting necessary paper supplies.”
One line printed on the flyer reads “the end is near,” suggesting the schools, serving nearly 28,000 students, could run out of paper.
Donations are being accepted at Kent schools Oct. 9 through 12. In addition to toilet paper, construction paper, paper towels, reams of copy paper and facial tissue are being accepted.
The Kent School District, which has 41 schools, confirms it began the year with a nearly $7 million budget shortfall. Superintendent Calvin J. Watts said the shortfall was not a result of misusing district funds, but a miscalculation of enrollments.
Parents are asking for an itemized budget so they can see where the money went.
“Thirty-three percent of my taxes are going to the local school,” Lisa Adams, a parent of three students in Kent schools, told KIRO. “The superintendent had said it was a miscalculation of resources and funds ... How do you miscalculate $7 million?”
A budget passed last month fixes the hole by cutting $2.9 million in personnel and $1.4 million in operating costs.