Additions this school year
PPS is spending $8.6 million to expand staffing and programs this year. Most of these additions were made when the dollars became available in October to benefit students for the full school year. Additions include:
The budget amendment also approved $3.5 million to complete the expansion of instructional technology for teachers, paid for by tranferring money into the Information Technology capital funds.
Additions next school year
PPS will use the remaining money in 2014-15 to continue supporting the staff and programs added this year and will also bring on additional school staff to reduce class size and better support teachers.
In the meantime, the remainder of the $19.6 million is added to the district's reserves, temporarily increasing reserves to $34.2 million.
Budget surplus forcasted for 2014-15
The school board also got a first look at the overall revenue picture for the school district in 2014-15.
Even after paying to sustain this year's added staff and programs next year, PPS forecasts a $15.7 million budget surplus. The surplus is based on increased revenues - including added dollars approved by the state Legislature - and reduced expenses.
The surplus represents the first positive budget outlook that Portland Public Schools has projected at the outset of the budget process in a decade.
Surplus intended to lower class size
A large portion of next year’s budget surplus has been committed during on-going negotiations with the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT), or to expand investments in current priorities:
The $15.7 million surplus accounts for a 3 percent increase in costs next year and it assumes a 5 percent level of reserves, to protect against any unexpected drops in school funding.
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