2017-2018 Budget Message
Superintendent Grotting submitted the Proposed Budget for the Beaverton School District for fiscal year 2017-2018 to the Budget Committee on Monday, April 17, 2017. The proposed budget of $1,076,300,812 is the result of the financial goals set by the School Board, staff, students and community, and the work of the 38 member Internal Budget Team (IBT). This budget proposal builds on some of the multiyear strategic investments we made last year, while recognizing the very real financial challenges the state faces with funding programs and services, including K-12 schools.
Planning a Budget for 2017-2018
Our budget proposal comes at a time when the Oregon Legislature is determining the 2017-2019 biennial budget. Even though we have an improving economy, K-12 funding is not stable. Initial budgets proposed by both Governor Kate Brown and the Legislative Budget Co-Chairs are woefully short of what is needed to fund the K-12 system statewide. This is a very fluid funding environment. In Beaverton, we are budgeting at a $8.1 billion state school funding level. We will not know the actual funding level until the Legislature finishes their work. Unfortunately, at this funding level, we are planning for a $15 million reduction in our budget coming from staff, programs and non-salary areas. Why is this happening?
The Legislature will have to deal with the long-term funding of the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). For Beaverton that means an annual increase of $14 million next year. This is not a short term problem. Funding PERS obligations will affect public agencies and schools for at least the next 6 years.
Career & Technical Education
In November 2016, Oregon voters approved Measure 98 which dedicated funding to improving graduation rates through proven practices such as Career & Technical Education (CTE). While I am pleased with our improving graduation and dropout rates, we have more work to do. We want to make investments in CTE programming at our high schools, but we will need to wait for the Legislature to define the funding stream during this session. Meanwhile, we are evaluating our existing CTE programs and looking for ways to strengthen the great work that is happening already. We are working with industry partners and higher education leaders to ensure that many more students take advantage of these opportunities. Ultimately, it will help many more students succeed in high school and go on to family-wage careers.
Early Childhood Education
I have proposed some initial funding to establish Early Childhood Education in the Beaverton School District. Many of our kindergartners come to us without any preschool or opportunities, putting them at a disadvantage and significantly behind their peers. We need to engage these young learners earlier and partner with their families so every kindergarten student is kindergarten ready.
Opening New Schools
Finally, we are excited to be opening two new schools this fall including Mountainside High School and Sato Elementary School in North Bethany. These new schools will require staffing and operating funds. Vose Elementary will also move into their new school in September 2017.
Local Option Levy
We are indeed fortunate to have a supportive community that values their schools. Our five year local option levy will end next year. The levy has provided about $30 million annually and funded nearly 300 teachers. It allowed us to lower class sizes and provided more personalized attention for our students. We anticipate that our School Board will seek a renewal next May 2018. So while there are challenges ahead of us, we know that our talented employees, parents and the Beaverton
community stand ready and willing to help each child be successful.
Read the 2017-2018 Budget Message in its entirety.