The decision legislators make about Oregon’s 2017-19 K-12 budget will have a significant and lasting impact on Centennial School District students. Currently, the Co-chairs of the Joint Ways and Means committee, the principal budget writing committee of the legislature (the Oregon Department of Education estimates of State School Fund are based on this proposal), have proposed a budget which, by their own estimate, is $1.6 billion short of providing the level of state services we currently enjoy. For example they have acknowledged that hundreds of thousands of low income Oregonian’s could lose health care coverage, hundreds of Oregon K-12 teachers could lose their jobs leaving behind even larger class sizes, the school year may be shortened to reduce school budgets and services to senior citizens may be slashed.
The current proposal of the Co-chairs of the Joint Ways and Means Committee of the Oregon Legislature is $7.8 billion. For the Centennial School District, that funding level means we would have to reduce the proposed budget – which will barely maintain our current level of service by approximately $2.2 million. In other words, the Centennial School District would see a 3.3 percent budget reduction.
What do we need to fund our budget in 2017-19? We need the state to approve $8.1 billion for K-12.
What is the proposed K-12 budget? $7.8 Billion – $600 million short of what it will take for public school districts throughout Oregon to continue offering the same programs and services for the next two years.
What does this mean to our students?
- This reduction is almost the cost of operating an entire elementary school for the school year; or
- 27 classroom teachers; or
- Approximately 10 days of school
Absolutely none of those, or any combination of those service reductions are acceptable. All of them are very damaging to the education of our children.