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Superintendent Presents Budget Proposal for 2018–19

Budget plan holds the line on class sizes and full school year, expands elementary PE, provides behavioral supports 

4J superintendent Dr. Gustavo Balderas presented his proposed budget to the district’s budget committee on May 7, setting in motion the budget process for the 2018–19 school year. The proposed general fund budget is $213.8 million.

The proposed budget reflects the goals of the district’s 4J Vision 20/20 strategic plan while recognizing the continued operational and resource challenges facing the district.

The budget plan maintains recent improvements in educational service levels, makes targeted investments to support student learning, and dips into contingency funds to stabilize staffing levels, while planning ahead for growing costs in future years.

The superintendent’s proposed budget for 2018–19:

Continues key investments 

  • Maintains a full school year with no furlough days, and will now have school days scheduled consistently for all 4J schools
  • 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 9th and 10th grade students, to help students get off to a strong start in high school and stay on track for graduation
  • Maintains full-time counselors recently added at elementary schools to support students’ emotional and behavioral needs

Invests in strengthening our educational system 

  • Supports high school success with expanded career and technical education programs, college-level and advanced coursework, and ninth grade transition and success supports (Measure 98 plan)
  • Adds physical education teachers and maintains music teachers to enrich students’ learning and provide more prep time for elementary teachers to prepare for quality instruction
  • Makes modest budget investments in targeted areas, including school safety and emergency preparedness, middle school mentoring program, world language and elementary math curriculum implementation, high-quality professional development, and Japanese and Spanish immersion in the North Eugene region 

Targets resources to support student behavior needs 

  • Provides behavioral supports to more effectively address students’ behavioral needs, beginning to implement the district’s behavior framework
  • Stabilizes staffing of educational assistants—Special education EA staffing has been added in recent years as a temporary measure, much of it in response to student behaviors, using one-time dollars without an ongoing funding source. These funds have been expended and the temporary increase in staffing is not sustainable. The proposed budget dedicates general fund contingency dollars next year to maintain some of the added educational assistant positions, mitigate sudden significant reductions in staffing at schools, and avoid most employee layoffs. EA staffing will be sloped down over time, as program changes and more effective systems to address behavior are brought online, rather than returning to a more standard and sustainable staffing level all at once.

Plans ahead to balance growing costs and projected deficits in future years

  • Restores a general fund reserve level of 5 percent (about three weeks of operating expenses), per board policy, providing some cushion against unexpected cost increases or revenue reductions
  • Sets aside some reserves to balance rising costs in the next few years, including expected PERS rate increases, to prevent the need for draconian cuts in the years ahead

Superintendent Balderas notes, “We are fortunate to be able to make targeted, carefully planned investments in our educational systems, aligned with our strategic plan. While our limited resources still can’t fund everything we want for kids in our schools, the improvements we are investing in will make a real difference for our students.”

The superintendent presented the proposed budget to the district’s budget committee on May 7. After a series of public meetings, the school board will adopt a final budget on June 20.

Key dates include:

Monday, May 7 – Superintendent and financial services staff presented 2018–19 proposed budget to budget committee

Monday, May 21 – Budget committee meets to complete work on the 2018–19 budget, vote to approve the budget and declare the tax rates and debt service levy

Wednesday, June 6 – School board holds a public hearing on the budget approved by the budget committee, considers adoption of the budget as an item for future action

Wednesday, June 20 – School board votes to adopt the budget

Read the Proposed Budget Document 

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