Information supplied by Lincoln County School District
Superintendent Tom Rinearson has reported to the Lincoln County School Board that funding levels for Lincoln County schools are very much up in the air. Governor Kitzhaber is seeking ways to trim Public Employment Retirement System spending, as well as to find savings in the state prisons budget to help pump up education, K-12.
Rinearson said that for the current school year, the district is spending $1.7 million in cash reserves and has five furlough days, along with no or minimal increases in pay for employees.
Rinearson said the governor’s proposed budget at the $6.15 billion level for K-12 education would result in significant reductions in state revenue to LCSD. One method to make up for this shortfall would mean five additional furlough days (a total of ten) and reductions to several programs not required by law (primarily the Expanded Options program). Scheduled textbook adoptions would not take place, professional development would be reduced, co-curricular activities would be reduced or eliminated, and staff layoffs would occur.
At a state funding level of $6.55 billion, the above items could be added back, but the district would still need to eliminate an additional five days of school (ten total).
If state funding for K-12 education was at $6.895 billion, a full contract school year could be restored and 3.2 licensed positions could be added to support academic counseling tracking. This would support requirements of the state 40/40/20 goal.
Rinearson reported that the governor is also considering major changes to Education Service Districts (ESDs) and their funding, which would result in further significant reductions to the district. Tier II services would most likely be eliminated (about $600,000).
Superintendent Rinearson noted the information will likely change between now and the end of the legislative session. Rinearson remarked that these estimates were developed quickly with a broad brush. The 2013-14 budget for LCSD will likely be prepared without knowing what the state funding level will be. He said budget amendments may be required later depending on legislative funding decisions.