DALLAS – The Dallas School Board adopted its 2020-21 budget Monday, with hope that school won’t have to take a large hit financially from COVID-19.
The district’s budget committee approved the proposed budget on May 18. It was based on the full $9 billion that the Oregon Legislature for the 2019-21 biennium approved long before the pandemic began.
School officials are increasing hopeful that the amount going to schools won’t be reduced much, or at all.
“While we’ve had wild swings on funding news during this time, it continues to move in the right direction,” said Debbie MacLean, the district’s director of fiscal services. “Things are gradually are becoming more optimistic, to the point where we actually might receive the full $9 billion in funding. That would be a hallelujah moment considering where we have been.”
The budget adopted on Monday amounted to approximately $54.6 million with $38.1 million in the general fund. Adoption followed a public hearing on the proposal, which received no public comment.
MacLean said there are indicators that schools will received more than expected revenue from the Student Success Act, which was approved in the last legislative session to assist districts with certain issues of concern such as reducing class sizes and increasing graduation rates.
Interim Superintendent Andy Bellando said Gov. Kate Brown has called for a special session of the state legislature to address issues of law enforcement practices and racial justice in the wake of protests across the globe against police brutality and racism in general.
“We’ve been told she will be calling a second special session to specifically address the funding needs of, not just education, but state agencies,” Bellando said. “While we expect that timeline to be soon, within the next couple of weeks we hope, we really don’t know yet with certainty. So, we are relying upon some information that we are receiving from the Department of Education that there continues to be optimism.”
Bellando said he’s advocated on behalf of education and asked that other district representatives do the same.
“This is a defining moment for our state, and from my perspective, it’s why we have reserves,” Bellando said. “This is why we have a rainy day fund, because it’s raining.”
In other business, the board:
Elected Jon Woods to be chairman of the board for the 2020-21 school year and Dave Hunt as the vice chairman.