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Dollars & Sense: Board Adopts 2017–18 Budget

Investments to strengthen the foundation of education

Budget provides full school year, holds the line on class sizes, restores student supports, plans for targeted investments if funding improves

The Eugene School Board has adopted a school district budget for 2017–18. The budget is aligned with the district’s 4J Vision 20/20 strategic plan to strengthen the foundation of educational services for students and provide stability for future years. The budget:

  • Provides a full school year, the first since 2008–09 (a full school year was calendared in 2016–17, but was impacted by hazardous weather)
  • Holds the line on class sizes, keeping staffing ratios steady with increasing enrollment and setting aside resources to balance the most oversized classrooms in the fall
  • Supports full schedules for 10th grade students
  • Increases counseling support at elementary schools
  • Bolsters language immersion offerings with a new Chinese immersion program in the Churchill region and increased staffing for the Spanish and Japanese immersion programs in the North region
  • Maintains music and physical education specialist instruction time and teacher prep time at every elementary school
  • Plans ahead to balance potential cost increases by setting aside more contingency funds
  • and makes a number of other targeted investments to support student learning.

School districts are required by law to complete their budgets by June 30, which is often before state funding decisions are finalized. Based on a conservative estimate of state funding that is below current service level needs, this budget plan dips into reserves to maintain stability and make targeted investments to support student learning.

If the state legislature approves a higher level of school funding, the district will be able to reduce deficit spending and make additional targeted investments in the educational foundation. A State School Fund level of $8.2 billion or more could result in an additional $8 million or more for the Eugene School District. The budget document lays out some priorities for additional investments to restore and enhance services consistent with the 4J Vision 20/20 strategic plan. The board and budget committee discussed priorities for funding additional services before the budget approval vote on June 21.

Priorities if additional resources become available include:

  • Reducing the largest class sizes by the targeted placement of additional teachers 
  • Supporting students with the greatest need with additions of elementary counselors, comprehensive learning center classrooms for cognitive and behavioral special education, and other programs to support special education
  • Keeping high school students on track to graduate with programs including online learning, truancy intervention, and graduation support
  • Updating outdated curriculum and technology, and
  • Reducing the operating deficit and retaining reserves to provide stability in the future.

The district’s budget committee approved the budget on May 24. The school board held a public hearing on the budget on June 7 before voting to adopt it on June 21. If the state school funding level increases over the conservative estimate used in planning the district’s budget, additions will be approved in a supplemental budget process in the fall.

The full budget document is available at www.4j.lane.edu/finance/docs.

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