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District News

April 3, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gresham-Barlow School District to begin planning for cuts to next year’s budget
 

Forums planned to provide information about the budget situation and collect feedback
 

The Gresham-Barlow School District will hold a series of budget forums to get feedback from staff, parents, and community members on how to reduce the budget for the 2015-16 school year. On March 31 the Oregon House of Representatives passed a $7.255 billion budget for K-12 schools. The senate is scheduled to vote on the bill on April 6.  A funding level of $7.255 billion for K-12 education would result in a $5 million shortfall for the school district over the biennium (2015-17). The district would be required to reduce its budget by $2.5 million in 2015-16 and those reductions would remain in effect for 2016-17. The $2.5 million in cuts is equivalent to 25 teaching positions or seven school days.
 
“At a time when Oregon’s economy is strong, it is difficult to understand why the legislature appears poised to fund our schools at such a low level,” said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. “The $7.255 billion K-12 budget does nothing to reverse a generation of disinvestment in education funding in Oregon. In fact, it takes us several steps backwards.”
 
The bill that establishes the K-12 budget, HB 5017, includes a provision that would add more funds for schools if additional revenue becomes available in the next revenue forecast. However, due to timelines that the district’s budget committee must meet, along with timelines the district must follow when implementing staff layoffs, the district must move forward with identifying budget cuts.
 
At the budget forums, attendees will learn about the projected shortfall facing the school district. The meetings will allow staff, parents, and community members to provide feedback that will be used in shaping next year’s budget for schools. Budget reductions could include some combination of cuts to staff, school days, and programs.
 
Budget Forums for Staff
 
 Date  Time  Location
 April 15  4 p.m.  Kelly Creek Elementary School
 Cafeteria
 2400 SE Baker Way
 Gresham, OR  97080
 April 21  4 p.m.  Hogan Cedars Elementary School
 Cafeteria
 1770 SE Fleming Avenue
 Gresham, OR  97080

 Budget Forums for Parents and Community
 
Date  Time  Location
 April 15  7 p.m.  Kelly Creek Elementary School
 Cafeteria
 2400 SE Baker Way
 Gresham, OR  97080
 April 21  7 p.m.  Hogan Cedars Elementary School
 Cafeteria
 1770 SE Fleming Avenue
 Gresham, OR  97080
 
The school district will present its proposed budget for 2015-16 to the district’s budget committee on May 14. The budget committee is scheduled to vote on whether to approve the budget on May 26. Budget committee meetings are held at the Center for Advanced Learning and begin at 7 p.m. The school board will vote on whether to adopt the budget at its regular board meeting on June 4.
 
 
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