DALLAS — Officials in Dallas School District introduced a budget with about $3.5 million more in the general fund and a full school year on Monday.
It’s based on Gov. Kate Brown’s proposal of a $8.97 billion for education in the state’s 2019-21 biennial budget. However, the scenario could change with the state legislature’s votes on education funding and a proposal to send $2 billion more to schools pending.
That legislation was put forward by the legislature’s Joint Committee on Student Success. It would put $1 billion toward a school improvement fund for, among other things, student social-emotional learning, smaller class sizes and more learning time.
Another $1 billion targeted for universal school meals, full funding for Measure 98 (career technical education and dropout prevention) and additional funding the High-Cost Disability Fund, created to reimburse districts for costs of educating students who require more than $30,000 in resources.
“As we prepare our budget, they are trying to invest another $2 billion in the Oregon public ed system,” said Michelle Johnstone, Dallas superintendent, as she introduced the budget to the Dallas School District budget committee. “That would come in the form of a school improvement grant most likely.
“We should know more in the next couple of weeks what is happening there.”
Included in the budget are 3.5 percent cost-of-living increases for all employee groups based on negotiations and no budget-reduction days.
“In our budget last year, we have six (budget-reduction days),” said Debbie MacLean, the district’s direction of financial services.
The growth in the district’s proposed budget is based on growth in the State School Fund from $8.2 billion in 2017-19 to $8.97 billion for 2019-21, and increased enrollment by 69 students in the 2018-19 school year, MacLean said.
She said positions were added last year to alleviate large class sizes, with three teachers hired at Oakdale Elementary School, Whitworth Elementary School and Dallas High School. Also, 3.5 classified positions were added in the elementary schools for behavior support.
Another 3.3 classified staff positions were added to meet the needs of specific students.
All of those positions will role forward in the 2019-20 budget.
Proposed for the 2019-20 school year is adding one teacher at LaCreole Middle School, a full-time theater manager at DHS. and 0.3 added back to the director of human resources/administration position.
Staff COLA increases and positions added in 2018-19 and planned for 2019-20 account for $1.74 million of the $3.4 million additional resources.
Oregon Public Employees Retirement System rate increases and other employer costs for additional employees accounts for another $1.2 million, with $795,000 the direct result of PERS rates going up.
Dallas School District Budget
General fund: $37,054,631
Special revenue grant & projects: $4,517,332
Capital Construction Bond Projects:$4,875,000
Capital improvement/acquisition Projects: $3,550,000
Food services: $1,085,600
Student activity funds: $1,150,000
Debt service fund (general obligation bonds): $2,967,660
Debt service fund (other facilities projects): $200,000