The Oregon Legislature is currently discussing a State School Fund appropriation of $7.235 billion for the 2015-2017 biennium. This level of funding is significantly inadequate and would do nothing to restore previously reduced staff or programs, or to reverse the effect that less instructional time and large class sizes have on student achievement.
Per Oregon Department of Education estimates, Fern Ridge Schools will receive $96 less per student next year then what we are currently receiving. We will continue to operate at a deficit, and shifting more of our already limited resources to implement full-day kindergarten will come at the expense of all our students. When combined with increased costs and the addition of full-day kindergarten, the scenario being considered by the Legislature means we are facing more lost school days, higher class sizes, and further reduction of what few programs we have left. In the last twelve years we have eliminated all music and PE programs at our elementary schools, and over 20 course offerings at the middle school and high school.
Below is a link to a one page handout describing what a $7.235 billion funding level means for our district. Also provided is information on what a $7.5 billion and a $7.875 billion funding level means for our district, some facts about Oregon’s education system, and contact information for the senator and representative that represent our district. Superintendents from across the state are asking their staff, parents, community leaders and school board members to contact legislators and advocate for better school funding. Please consider reaching out to our legislators; our students deserve stable and adequate funding. Thank you for your support and action!