Editor’s note: This story originally stated the school board voted to cut athletic programs. A later correction by The Daily Chronicle indicated no vote took place.
The Centralia School District is exploring the possibility of cutting all athletic programs in the wake of a levy failure and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to a report in The Daily Chronicle of Centralia.
The district, which would be the first across the state of Washington to cut athletics amid the coronavirus pandemic, projected an $11.9 million budget deficit and said athletics is “100 percent levy-funded.” According to the Daily Chronicle, the district’s 2020-21 budget — which includes the cuts to the athletic programs — will be voted on by the board after a public hearing process.
In Feburary, the Centralia School District’s replacement levy failed by about 69 percent.
The board voted on another levy to be put on the ballot in an August 4 primary, and the district’s interim superintendent Kristy Vetter said the budget for the upcoming 2020-21 school year has not been finalized and the board will discuss what can be brought back to the budget if the levy passes.
“The district, with the help of some very supportive athletic staff, is exploring if there are any ways we might be able to offer an alternate or reduced athletics program next year for varsity athletes. Nothing has yet been decided in that regard,” Centralia School District Communications Officer Ed Petersen told The Daily Chronicle.