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District News

June 13, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gresham-Barlow School Board adopts 2014-15 budget
 
After years of cuts, budget maintains current staffing levels, restores a full school year
 
The Gresham-Barlow School Board adopted the 2014-15 budget for schools at its board meeting June 12. The $113 million general fund budget assumes a K-12 education budget statewide of $6.65 billion. At this level of state funding, the district is able to restore a full school year for students and maintain staffing levels.
 
“I am pleased that after five years of budget cuts we have enough state funding to maintain our current educational program,” said Superintendent Schlachter. “Students will spend more time in the classroom and class sizes will stabilize and not go up.”
 
Due to years of shortfalls in state funding, the Gresham-Barlow School District, and school districts statewide, has seen class sizes increase.
 
Next year the school district will again strategically use teaching positions to provide additional support. For instance, staffing will be higher at each of the district’s five highest poverty schools. Those schools each receive an additional teaching position. Additional staffing support will also be provided to the district’s two large high schools to hold down class sizes in 9th grade math. Student failure in the ninth grade often results in students falling off track for graduation. Ninth grade math is the most frequently failed class.
 
“I am thankful the funding from the state for next school year will allow us to hold steady,” said Schlachter. “As state lawmakers plan for the next biennium, I will share with them that the current level of funding is not yet at a point that allows for hiring more staff and lowering class sizes.”
 
The budget also earmarks funds to keep the district moving forward in its work to raise student achievement. The district will use three hundred thousand dollars to purchase elementary math curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The district will spend one hundred thousand the advancement of its six educational initiatives. The budget also allocates $31,000 in support for the Right Brain Initiative, an elementary arts program.
 
Prior to the school board’s adoption, the district’s Budget Committee reviewed the budget and approved it on May 8.
 

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