May Family & Community Letter (5/9/23)

May 9, 2023

Dear CCSD Families and Community Members:

The month of May has finally arrived and brought with it warmer weather and sunny skies. May is a special time for CCSD students, parents, and staff as we celebrate our students’ unique talents and academic achievements and finalize plans for the upcoming school year. CCSD is excited to host music concerts, drama productions, academic and athletic awards ceremonies, to celebrate our students’ growth and learning. It is also a bittersweet time of year because a significant number of our students will be leaving CCSD as they graduate and take their next steps towards adulthood. We will also celebrate our 8th grade students as they graduate from our middle school and transition to the academic challenges that await them at CHS, and our Kindergartners graduate to the first grade.

As noted in previous communications this year, CCSD has been heavily engaged with trying to move our Craig Middle School and Craig Elementary School Major Maintenance Projects forward. CCSD has gone out for bid two times this school year with the most recent bid process due on Friday, April 13. 2023. One bid was submitted for a total base bid amount of $12.8 million. CCSD has secured through our DEED Major Maintenance grant applications coupled with our required contributing local share a total of $8.3 million for these two projects. Unfortunately, CCSD will not be able to move forward with these projects during the 2023-2024 school year. However, CCSD will take two steps in response to this issue:

  • Request through Senator Stedman’s office supplemental funding of $4.5 million to address the funding shortfall.

  • Develop another Major Maintenance Grant Application through the Department of Education and Early Development’s

    Major Maintenance grant fund to submit by the September 1, 2023 deadline for additional funding for the project. The funding we have received to date is solid for five years until we would need to apply for an extension.

    CCSD has also been heavily engaged with the legislative process, providing testimony on several education-specific bills this year that could impact our district operations. There has been quite a bit of discussion at the legislative level in both the House and Senate about providing additional funding for K-12 schools. However, the House and Senate are not aligned yet (with one week left in the legislative session) in regards to what the amount of additional funding should be and how the state would ultimately pay for that additional funding. Our district, along with every other district in the state, is extremely concerned about the amount of state funding the district will receive next school year. Districts have been flat funded for over six years and the ability of districts to address the annual inflation costs that impact school budgets year after year has come to an end. It is imperative for the health of CCSD’s operations that the legislature increase our funding for the 2023-2024 school year.

    In closing, CCSD thanks our community members for the support and guidance you have provided the district and we look forward to seeing our parents/guardians at all our year-end events celebrating our students’ growth and learning. If there is any additional information I can provide about the items noted in this email, or about any other district initiative, please don’t hesitate to call me at 826-3274 ext. 4003 or email me at the address below.

    Enjoy the sunshine and warm weather.

    Sincerely,

    Chris Reitan, CCSD Superintendent

    Email: creitan@craigschools.com