April 26, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gresham-Barlow School District Proposes 2013-14 budget
Budget plan strategically protects key areas while making reductions of $5 million
Gresham-Barlow School District Superintendent Jim Schlachter presented the proposed 2013-14 budget to the district’s Budget Committee Thursday night. It assumes a K-12 education budget statewide of $6.55 billion and that PERS reform legislation will be passed by the legislature valued at $200 million statewide. At this level of state funding, the district was required to cut $5 million from its budget primarily through reductions in staff. The proposed budget still allows the district to provide a well-rounded educational program.
“While reductions in staff will reduce some of our offerings and increase class sizes, the proposed budget allows the district to continue to preserve its core program,” said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. “Our elementary schools will still offer p.e. and music and our secondary schools will continue to have a variety of electives.”
The equivalent of 46 positions will be reduced through layoffs and reductions in work hours. The 46 positions that will be reduced will be made across all groups: administrative, licensed (teaching staff), and classified (support staff).
Concessions by employee groups helped to reduce the number of staff layoffs required to balance the budget. Administrative, confidential, and classified staff members will take five furlough days. Administrative and confidential employees have agreed to wage concessions.
In reviewing where to make reductions in teaching staff, the district is making fewer cuts in schools with the highest poverty levels. Providing student support through lower class sizes helps to address achievement challenges in high poverty schools.
Staffing is also being protected at two critical points in a child’s education—first grade, when students are developing their reading skills, and ninth 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.
“The district is making strategic investments to limit the negative impact on classroom instruction,” said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. “While staffing will not be increased in these areas, staff reductions will be intentionally mitigated to protect the identified learning environments.”
The proposed budget also earmarks funds to keep the district moving forward in its work to raise student achievement. Funds will be used to purchase math curriculum for 4th and 5th grade, extend the Right Brain Initiative into all district elementary schools, and support resources needed to implement a new teacher and principal evaluation program. Funds transferred from the Multnomah Education Service District will be used to provide professional development within the district’s six education initiatives.
“Schools in Oregon have seen state funding shortfalls for the last four years,” said Superintendent Schlachter. “In spite of these challenges, our students continue to receive a strong educational program thanks to the work of staff members who are effective, focused on improvement, and dedicated to serve.”
The district’s Budget Committee will review the proposed budget. The committee will meet on May 6 to continue to review the budget and provide an opportunity for public input. A second budget committee meeting may take place on May 13 if needed. Once the Budget Committee approves the budget, the school board votes on adopting the budget on June 6.
May 6 Budget Committee Meeting
Center for Advanced Learning-1484 NW Civic Drive - Gresham
May 13 Budget Committee Meeting
Center for Advanced Learning-1484 NW Civic Drive – Gresham
June 6 School Board Budget Hearing
Gresham-Barlow School District Office – 1331 NW Eastman Parkway - Gresham
Community members can find Superintendent Schlachter’s Budget Message and the calendar of Budget Committee meetings on the district's website at: www.gresham.k12.or.us.