The Press Newspaper
The Oregon school board will slash $2 million from the district’s operating budget for the 2011-12 school year if an emergency operating levy on the November ballot fails, according to a position statement the board is considering.
Superintendent Mike Zalar said Wednesday he expected the board to approve the statement at its meeting the next day. The statement outlines what cuts will be enacted if voters don’t approve the levy.
With $2 million less for operations, a total 20 teaching and support staff positions will be eliminated.
The district will also apply for a waiver from the state to reduce the kindergarten program from all-day everyday to all-day every other day.
Zalar said a plan to close one elementary school and/or reconfigure the district would immediately be implemented and the Career and Tech program offerings would be eliminated.
The position statement also says the board will:
• Eliminate or significantly reduce bus service for all high school students, including parochial.
• Reduce cleaning services in buildings effective January, 2011.
If the levy passes the board will continue to maintain “…quality in our schools,” the statement says. “Over the last three years we have worked to save $7 million and we offer a good value to residents. We remain committed to seeking operational efficiencies. We will continue to evaluate effective programming and strive to improve student achievement and increase efficiency.”
Voters on Nov. 2 will decide a 5.9-mill emergency operating levy.
“The district has already reduced staff by 50 positions over the course of the last several years,” Zalar said. “Last year alone, we had to let go 32 classroom teachers resulting in the elimination or reduction of numerous academic programs and services to our students. To have to reduce staff an additional 20 positions will seriously jeopardize our ability to provide a quality education for all students.”