Edmonds School Board approves 2022-23 budget, addresses rumors about critical race theory

School Board President Nancy Katims tells the audience critical race theory will not be taught in Edmonds schools this year.

The Edmonds School District Board of Directors at its Aug. 9 meeting held a second reading of and approved the district’s 2022-23 school year budget.

A breakdown of the new budget was given at the board’s July 12 meeting, with total planned expenditures for the upcoming year being roughly $397 million. The budget includes roughly $3.3 million for the Associated Student Body fund, $52 million for the capital projects fund and $3.8 million for the transportation vehicle fund. The district also plans to purchase seven new wheelchair buses and six small buses before the beginning of the school year.

“I just want to appreciate all the work that has gone into presenting this budget and the many study sessions that we’ve done prior to taking this vote,” said Director Carin Chase.

The budget was approved unanimously.

In addition, Board President Nancy Katims announced that the board’s new student representatives will be joining the meetings in September. They will begin the orientation process and meet with the directors later this month before becoming official student reps.

“Nearly all our schools are represented so [that’s great],” Katims said. “We’re excited to have them.”

During the public comment section of the meeting, a few community members voiced their opinions on critical race theory, which they said has been been rumored to be making its way into public school curriculums nationwide this upcoming school year.

Some commenters accused the district of trying to hide the class in its curriculum, while others voiced their approval of teaching such a topic.

“You should really do your research on what critical race theory actually is before coming up to speak your disapproval of it,” one community member said.

However, Board President Katims told the audience the district has no plans to teach critical race theory at all and has been very transparent about their curriculum.

“Everything we do is public,” Katims said. “Our teachers teach to the state standards. None of this is hidden. Our curriculum is not hidden. We are not doing things in secret. We are doing things that are approved by the state and are accepted as best practice in teaching and learning. In addition to that, it is unfortunate that critical race theory and culturally responsive teaching have the same initials. They are not the same thing. We have been doing culturally responsive teaching for years and years. Critical race theory is not something that we teach.”

The board of directors will resume its biweekly meeting schedule in September, with  the next meeting to be held Sept. 13.

— By Lauren Reichenbach

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