The Woodburn School Board will meet on June 19 at 6:30 pm to adopt the budget for the 2018-2019 school year. The meeting will take place at the District Office and Welcome Center, 1390 Meridian Drive in Woodburn. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
The process for developing the budget is comprehensive. The Superintendent collaborates with staff and proposes recommended spending measures to the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee reviews these recommendations and provides input for consideration by the Woodburn School Board. The School Board then has until June 30 of a calendar year to adopt the budget for the following school year.
The Budget Committee approved the proposed plan at their May 8 meeting. Members of the committee are community volunteers that have spent hours over the course of three meetings working over the budget proposal and coming to a consensus on what is in the best interest of students and staff.
Woodburn continues to lead the state in graduation rates and closing the achievement gap between different student populations. However, funding from the state is uncertain for the next biennium. As a result, the proposed budget is conservative and reflects that changing horizon.
There are several issues driving the current document. Next year will reflect new instructional hour requirements and a required physical education component for grades K-5 that will begin in 2019.
The state is reassessing best practices used by school districts with high achievement rates, such as Woodburn. Recommendations could mean additional revenue for K-12, but it also could restrict how those funds can be used.
Cost drivers are also a factor in budget decisions. Property and liability insurance rates for the district will increase 7-9 percent. There also could be mandated changes to the state’s retirement system, known as PERS. This decision has had significant impact on school district budgets statewide in the past.
Educators are predicting that the state will run a $1-2 billion budget deficit for the 2019-2021 biennium. Oregon continues to fall short of fully funding K-12 education already, and, despite the school district’s best efforts to advocate for students, this trend is anticipated to continue.
Superintendent Chuck Ransom says that despite these challenges, the school district will continue to invest in students and staff even if it requires using some ending fund balance to meet these commitments.
“Maintaining, or in some cases adding, programs and services is vital to the education of our students,” said Superintendent Ransom. “We also have to invest in our people to keep and attract qualified professionals who support our mission.”