June 9, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gresham-Barlow School Board adopts 2017-18 budget
The Gresham-Barlow School Board adopted the 2017-18 school district budget on June 8, 2017. 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 made a variety of budget reductions and dipped into reserves.
“While we have built this budget based on $8.1 billion in statewide funding for the biennium, $8.4 billion in funding is needed to maintain our current educational program,” said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. “We urge the state legislature to continue working to find additional funding for schools between now and the end of the legislative session.”
The 2017-18 adopted 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).
While the school district reduced 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.
The Oregon Senate passed an $8.2 billion spending plan for K-12 schools on June 8, 2017. The House could vote on that level of funding as early as the week of June 12, 2017. It currently remains unclear just how much money will be devoted to K-12 education for the next biennium. Lawmakers are working to pass legislation to raise even more revenue for schools before the end of the legislative session.
The 2017-18 adopted budget is unchanged from the proposed budget.
Link to proposed 2017-18 budget
Read Superintendent Jim Schlachter’s Budget Message