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School District Budget committee has openings

Hood River County School District seeks applicants for budget committee vacancies

The Hood River County School District is looking for committed citizens to join its budget committee: the committee of community and school board members tasked with scrutinizing and approving a budget of approximately $40 million. Vacancies are in the following regional areas:

Zone 1 (Cascade Locks/West Hood River) — three-year term through June 2016

Zone 2 (West Hood River) — one-year term through June 2014

Zone 4 (Odell) — one-year term through June 2014

Zone 5 (Parkdale) — three-year term through June 2016

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Next year’s budget is gearing up to be the first in a few years without requiring cuts to a significant number of jobs and programs. That’s mainly a result of the state increasing education funding for all K-12 schools; though still woefully short of the Oregon’s own “Quality Education Model” recommendations. More stable state level funding is a chance to preserve critical educational and extra-curricular programming.

The future of state education funding is murky, however, including proposals by the state to change the way “poverty rates” are calculated (which would have a negative impact on HRCSD’s budget), pending legal challenges to public pension cuts, and flat student enrollment.

With this backdrop for school funding, enter the budget committee: The school district releases a proposed budget around May. The budget committee, made up of citizens and school board members, meets in May to review the draft, hear from the public and suggest changes. Once approved, it’s set for final adoption by the school board.

Applications are available online at the district website (hoodriver.k12.or.us). The deadline for applications is Feb. 19, 5 p.m.

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The schedule for the 2014-15 budget process starts Feb. 26 with appointment of committee vacancies.

The proposed budget is published by April 12, and the first meeting of the budget committee is at 6:30 p.m. on May 6 at the HRVHS library. The committee is scheduled to meet May 13 and May 27, with a public hearing planned June 11, and adoption no later than June 30.

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