Cuts are coming; School District wants public input

Hood River County School District must reduce spending by $4.75 million in the 2017-19 biennium, in light of a statewide K-12 budget shortfall announcement from the Oregon Legislature of $1.8 billion dollars, Superintendent Dan Goldman has announced.

Goldman will hold two community listening sessions with the public to provide the community with information regarding the district’s budget for the 2017-18 school year and the budget shortfall’s impacts on district programs.

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March 9 at HRVHS

March 13 at Mid Valley

Goldman will collect feedback from parents, staff and community members regarding the information shared.

The first listening session will be Thursday, March 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hood River Valley High School Media Center. The second listening session will be held on Monday, March 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Mid Valley Elementary School.

Spanish translation will be provided at both forums.

Anticipated district impacts

At the $8.02 billion statewide biennial budget level, these are some of the impacts HRCSD would see:

• Teacher layoffs resulting in increased class sizes

• Increased caseloads for counselors and special education staff

• Reduced enrichment courses and after-school activities

• Reduced textbook and supply purchases causing cancelled science, social science and health curriculum adoptions

• Reduced maintenance staffing

“In order for HRCSD to make no cuts, we need $8.4 billion in the State School Fund. Currently, the State School Fund is funded at $7.8 billion, $600 million short of what is needed to maintain the current program. Gov. Kate Brown’s proposed budget would spend $8.02 billion on education.

“But we will still need to reduce approximately $1 million in programs to children for next year — and sustain those cuts the following year,” Goldman said.

Cuts will be a combination of teachers, classified staff (such as bus drivers, instructional assistants, and secretarial staff), and purchases of textbooks, library books and technology.

Careful budget planning the last few years means HRCSD will be able to use approximately $2.7 million from reserves — mitigating the severity of the reductions required for the next biennium, according to Goldman.

“Even with these actions, the school district will face even more extreme reductions in the 2019-20 school year as PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) and insurance rates continue to skyrocket — unless the legislature enacts significant revenue and cost-driver reform,” he said.



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