Difficult Budget Times Ahead
May 18, 2017
Dear Parents and Community Members,
The first 2017-18 budget board meeting of Lake County School District #7 was held on Wednesday evening, May 10, 2017. There was one number presented at the meeting that we cannot ignore – $7.8 billion dollars. That’s the State School Fund number that the Co-Chairs of Ways and Means in the Legislature have said is the most likely funding level for our K-12 school system with the revenues currently available. K-12 schools need $8.4 billion to be able to offer the same programs to our students next year that we are providing today.
The strategy moving forward is to contact our legislators in Salem. They need to know that you expect them to put partisan bickering aside and do what is right for the students of Oregon by passing a K-12 budget that won’t mean more devastating cuts for our students. Specifically, Lake County School District #7 faces the following issues related to budget shortfall:
- The possible reduction of staff, which currently has two vacated classified positions that are not being replaced. As the budget process continues, there may be additional positions cut.
- Staff reductions will adversely effect programs in place, such as electives, which will cause class sizes to increase within academic departments, and grade levels.
- In order to preserve FTE and programs, salaries district wide are currently frozen at the 2016-17 budget level.
- District facility budgets continue to fall victim to the cut process. The 2017-18 budget will place the District into a reactive, rather than a proactive approach in moving forward to address high cost items such as roof replacement, painting, window replacement, playgrounds, and the security of LCSD #7 buildings. These are all projects that need immediate attention.
- We continue to face an aging bus fleet and need to replace one bus per year ideally, which is mandated by the Oregon Department of Education. In three years we have managed to replace one bus.
- Student enrollment at the kindergarten and 1st grade levels are growing, we desperately need additional teachers to reduce the class sizes.
I have talked with both legislators, Senator Dennis Linthicum, and Representative Werner Reschke, about the impacts of $7.8 billion on our district, and more important, the impact this budget would have on our students. I have asked them to make K-12 funding and our students a priority by finding a bipartisan solution to this continued disinvestment in our schools.
This assignment is within reach and it can be done. But we need your help; it is not too late to make your voice heard in Salem. I urge each one of you to call, email or write your legislators and tell them that it is time to make K-12 funding a priority. Our students deserve the best education system we can provide for them – and $7.8 billion doesn’t get us there.
Please help us. Tell our legislators that K-12 schools need $8.4 billion to be able to offer the same programs to our students next year that we are providing today. And let them know that you expect them to put partisan bickering aside and do what is right for the students of Oregon by passing a K-12 budget that won’t mean more devastating cuts for our students.
With our economy in good shape and a bright future, it is mystifying how education can be so poorly supported. Showing support for K-12 has never been more important, if we are to achieve greater success as a state. There is no question that Oregonians are looking for a few heroes to help save K-12 education. Let’s hope our legislators are willing to step up and lead us, as heroes would. Let’s inspire them to lead us up and out of this chronic budget hole.
We ask that you contact Senator Linthicum, and Representative Reschke at:
Representative Werner Reschke
Republican - District 56 - Klamath Falls
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1456
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-377, Salem, Oregon 97301
Senator Dennis Linthicum
Republican - District 28 - Klamath Falls
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1728
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-305, Salem, Oregon 97301
Your support is critical, please contact our politicians and voice your concerns. Our students are important, and they deserve a quality education. Please lend your support by letting Salem know that appropriate school funding is vital to their future, and to their success.
Lake County School District #7
1341 South 1st Street
Lakeview, OR. 97630
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