This week the Oregon Legislature approved a package of five bills to raise revenue, lower public pension costs, and make the State the regulator of agriculture seeds. As a result of this bipartisan effort, Oregon’s K-12 schools will receive $100 million in additional funding.
The added funds amount to just over a one percent increase in school funding statewide. This boosts state school funding from $6.55 billion to $6.65 billion this biennium (2013-15), setting an important baseline as the State plans school funding for 2015-17.
School districts will receive all of the added funds in the 2014-15 school year. For the Gladstone district, this will be approximately $350,000. Because the Legislature did not place requirements on how districts can use this money, the district has the opportunity to address some pressing needs, such as staffing, technology, or textbooks.
This winter, as the district plans its 2014-15 budget, Superintendent Bob Stewart will ask for input from parents, teachers, support staff and administrators on the greatest areas of need. We are committed to carefully assess the needs of our students to ensure the most strategic use of the funds.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to take another positive step,” said Stewart. “As you know, the added funds will not make us whole, but it is another step in the right direction.”