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Budget Process

The budget is a financial plan that estimates the cost to operate district schools and programs for the next fiscal year. The district prepares its annual budget in accordance with provisions of Oregon local budget law (ORS Chapter 294), which provides standard procedures for the preparation, presentation, administration and appraisal of budgets. The law mandates public involvement in budget preparation and public exposure of proposed programs. The law also requires that the budget be balanced, that is, projected resources must equal projected requirements in each fund.

Budget preparation takes several months and involves both building-based and central staff. A flowchart identifying the steps involved in the budget process is provided on the following page. Once a proposed budget is developed, the superintendent presents it and the budget message to the budget committee, which then reviews the proposed budget and receives public comment. The budget committee recommends revisions to the budget if needed and approves a budget for school board adoption.

The committee typically meets once in January and twice in May. Additional meetings may be scheduled based on the information needs of the budget committee.

Budget committee meeting information and materials is posted online at BoardBook.

Once a document is given to the budget committee, citizens may obtain a copy on the district website here or by calling 541-790-7737.

How the budget is adopted

At the first budget committee meeting, the superintendent presents the budget message, which explains the proposed budget and identifies significant changes in district programs or financial condition. At this meeting or a subsequent meeting, the budget committee receives public comment, makes revisions, and approves the budget. The budget committee may meet as many times as needed to revise and complete the budget.

After the budget committee approves a budget, the budget is forwarded to the school board for further public testimony and review. A summary of the approved budget and notice of budget hearing is published once in the local newspaper, five to 30 days in advance of the hearing. The notice indicates where the complete budget document is available for inspection.

The school board may make changes in the approved budget before or after it is adopted, but no later than June 30, the last day of the old fiscal year. There are two limitations which cannot be exceeded without publishing a revised summary of the budget and holding another budget hearing on the revisions: First, taxes needed to balance the budget may not be increased beyond what is approved by the budget committee. Second, estimated expenditures in any one fund may not be increased by more than ten percent. After the budget hearing and consideration of public testimony, the board adopts the budget, usually in the latter part of June.

Supplemental budgets

If the school district receives unanticipated revenues or a change in financial planning is required, a supplemental budget may be adopted to authorize a change in the budget within a fiscal year. A supplemental budget cannot be used to authorize a tax levy.

The school board may adopt a supplemental budget at a regular public meeting if expenditures in the supplemental budget are less than 10 percent of the annual budget fund being adjusted. If the expenditures are more, the school board must first publish the supplemental budget and hold a special hearing.