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May 11, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Gresham-Barlow School District proposes 2017-18 budget
 
The Gresham-Barlow School District presented a proposed budget for the 2017-18 school year to the district’s budget committee on May 11. The $130 million general fund budget is based on an $8.1 billion funding level for K-12 schools for the 2017-19 biennium. The Oregon Legislature is currently considering how much to allocate to K-12 schools. An $8.1 billion statewide funding level falls short of what is required to maintain the district’s current educational program and results in a $3.5 million shortfall. To balance the budget, the district proposes a variety of budget reductions and dipping into reserves.
 
“It is disappointing that once again Oregon schools are facing budget reductions,” said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. “The Gresham-Barlow School District is working to manage reduced state funding by using reserve funds to keep staff reductions to a minimum.”
 
The 2017-18 proposed budget takes a three-pronged approach in dealing with the $3.5 million shortfall:
  • Using $2 million from reserves
  • Reducing 11 positions
  • Reducing the curriculum budget and capital facilities budget 
Thanks to good financial stewardship, the district’s beginning fund balance (reserves) is estimated to be $12 million beginning July 1. This allows the district to use $2 million of those reserves for operations.

The 11 staff reductions will be made across all groups: administrative, licensed (teaching staff), and classified (support staff). No staff members will be laid off. The reductions will be made through attrition.
 
While the school district proposes a reduction to its curriculum budget, several curriculum purchases were made during the 2016-17 school year. The district recently made elementary and high school math curriculum purchases. The new curriculum will be in classrooms beginning in the fall of 2017.

Funds from the district’s 2016 school bond will pay for needed capital facility expenditures, allowing the district to reduce the amount spent on capital facility expenditures in the general fund.
 
It is important to note that the legislature is currently considering allocating $7.8 billion to K-12 education. If this occurs, the school district will be faced with an additional $3 million reduction in both 2017-18 and 2018-19. To address the shortfall, the district would need to consider additional staff reductions, resulting in higher class sizes and reduced opportunities for students, and further erosion of reserves.
 
The district’s Budget Committee will meet on May 22 to vote on approving the budget. Public testimony will be taken at the meeting. Once the budget is approved by the Budget Committee, the school board votes on adopting the budget. This vote is scheduled to take place at the June 8 school board meeting.
 
Read Superintendent Jim Schlachter’s Budget Message
 
View the 2017-18 proposed budget
 
Budget Committee Meeting to take public testimony
and approve budget:
 
May 22
7 p.m.
Center for Advanced Learning
1484 NW Civic Drive
Gresham, OR  97030
 
School Board hearing on the budget:
June 8
6:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.
School District Office
1331 NW Eastman Parkway
Gresham, OR 97030
 
School Board meeting to adopt budget:
June 8
7 p.m.
School District Office
1331 NW Eastman Parkway
Gresham, OR 97030
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