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District News
June 5, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Gresham-Barlow School Board adopts 2015-16 budget
 
The Gresham-Barlow School Board adopted the 2015-16 school district budget on June 4. The $116 million general fund budget is dependent on the state legislature funding K-12 schools at $7.5 billion for the 2015-17 biennium. If the state does not fund schools at that level, the district will be required to reduce the budget.
 
“In just a few short weeks the legislative session will come to an end,” said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. “We are hopeful lawmakers will increase the K-12 statewide funding level to $7.5 billion. This is the amount we need to prevent reductions to the 2015-16 budget.”
 
Adjustments to staffing levels based on enrollment
Funding for staff is allocated based on enrollment. Due to increased enrollment at the elementary level over the last few years, additional teaching positions have been added. Staffing has been reduced at the middle school and high school levels as a result of decreased enrollment.
 
Lowering class sizes at a critical learning milestone
The state of Oregon has again failed to provide enough funding to add back the number of teaching positions required to lower class sizes district-wide. With the small amount of dollars available for class size reduction, the district is reducing class sizes in kindergarten and first grade, when students are beginning to learn to read. Kindergarten and first grade classrooms are targeted at an average of 26 students per classroom. In addition, in 2015-16 the state will provide funding for full-day kindergarten. The district has budgeted for full-day kindergarten in its K-8 school and its 10 elementary schools.
 
Preparing students for college or career
The district is leveraging grant dollars to partially fund two programs that prepare high school students to be successful. The district will use grant funds and district funds to support the Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) program and the College Possible program. The EOS program is designed to encourage more students to enroll in our most challenging academic classes. The College Possible program provides support for students who need assistance in preparing to enter college.
The district will also continue to provide resources for the “Pathways through High School and to College and Career” program. This program exposes eighth grade students and their parents to the variety of options at the high school level designed to prepare students for career and college.
 
“The 2015-16 budget provides our elementary students with a strong start,” said Superintendent Schlachter. “We are also investing in programs that support high schools students as they prepare for the workforce or post-secondary education.”
 
The district’s Budget Committee approved the budget on May 26.
 

 
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