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New budget counts on shared sacrifice to protect students' education

June 30, 2009
The Portland School Board last night unanimously adopted a $407.7 million budget for the 2009-10 school year, one that reduces administrative costs and counts on all employees make pay concessions to protect class sizes, maintain the school year for students and continue strategies to support student achievement.

Under the $6 billion state budget for K-12 over the next two years, Portland Public Schools faced a $32.3 million shortfall next year. That gap was closed through decisions that consistently put students first:

  • Cuts to central office services: $3.0 million
  • Reductions in central office staff (22.5 positions): $2.0 million
  • Reductions in school staff (24 positions): $2.0 million
  • Alternative funding for Outdoor School: $1.1 million
  • Five unpaid days off for all employees: $6.0 million
  • Tapping reserve funds: $9.0 million
  • Eliminating cost-of-living pay increases for all employees: $9.2 million

The school district must still come to agreement with the Portland Association of Teachers before moving forward on the unpaid furlough days and no cost-of-living increases. (The school district must also gain agreement from other employee groups on COLA freezes for represented employees whose contracts are open in 2009-10.) PPS and the PAT are in bargaining over a new contract for teachers; the two sides have had a series of informal talks since January. Despite a concerted effort and long hours of informal conversation from late May through early June, the two sides have not yet been able to reach agreement.

The Oregon Legislature has passed a $6 billion 2009-11 budget for K-12 education, with $200 million of that amount held back until the second year of the budget, to be released if the economic forecast holds up and the revenue measures approved by the legislature take effect.

To learn more about the budget, click here.

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