District not facing any major school upgrades or moves, and no significant cuts or additions are expected

The Crook County School District Board approved a $50.828 million budget for the upcoming school year during a meeting Monday evening, with no major cuts or additions.

"All of the programs that are currently in place continue to be fully funded," Superintendent Duane Yecha stated. "No major budget cuts are necessary to balance this budget."

CCSD Director of Business and Finance Anna Logan pointed out that in contrast to the last few years, this is a relatively static budget — there are no schools opening, closing, or moving, and no programs are being added or removed.

"The district is in a very positive financial position," she said.

"After two years of significant changes in the district, we anticipate more steady operations in the 2017-2018 school year," Yecha said in the 2017-2018 budget message.

Next year's total budget is $2.8 million less than the current budget that ends June 30, but there are no specific cuts, although the district always endeavors to reduce costs when possible, Logan said.

While there are no major cuts or additions, there are a few small changes in some programs and staffing.

The Advanced Diploma program is decreasing, not because of district action but rather as a natural result of the new statewide Oregon Promise program. The district expects the online and AVID programs to increase.

The total number of full-time employees is about the same, Logan pointed out. However, there is a small increase in employees in the new Pioneer South building and a decrease in construction project management staff since the bond projects are concluding.

The district has a few increased expenditures, such as PERS debt payments. The 2017-18 school year is the first year of a new biennium, which means increased PERS costs and uncertain revenue projections.

The amount of funding dedicated to athletic programs is proposed to increase, partially as a result of the cost of coaching stipends increasing due to contractual obligations

Ongoing maintenance will be a priority for the district to ensure proper care of the community's investment, Yecha stated, adding that local schools are safer than ever before due to automated entry systems, electrical upgrades, asbestos removal, and camera monitoring.

Revenue sources include the State School Fund, the Transportation Grant, property taxes as well as Measure 98.

The High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Act of 2016, known as Measure 98, provides direct funding to school districts to increase high school graduation rates, expand career and technical education programs, and expand college-level educational opportunities for high school students.

Logan said that Measure 98 funding was budgeted at the maximum possible amount, but is budgeted in a special restricted fund rather than the General Fund. Only the amount received will be spent.

Yecha pointed out that the district has been fortunate to experience unforeseen advantages in the past few years in the form of added revenue and cost reductions. The budget, he said, continues their focus on teaching and learning.

"Our efforts to improve instruction and student achievement focus on supporting principals and teachers in developing their professional practice and relationships with students in order to accelerate student learning," Yecha said.

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