Board members said that while they support the role the Community School plays in Forest Grove, there are greater budget concerns in the district right now.

The Forest Grove School Board voted unanimously to renew the Forest Grove Community School contract as is, rejecting a proposed 2 percent funding increase during its meeting on Monday, June 11.STAFF PHOTO: OLIVIA SINGER -

Students, parents and staff members from the Community School filled the room at Monday's meeting to show their support for the school, but the board did not vote in their favor.

"The community school is an amazing asset to our town," said board member Valyrie Ingram. "There have been many times that I wished I would have sent my own two daughters to the Community School. ... I think it is awesome you are advocating for your children. I would be doing the same thing. In my role right now, it is up to me to advocate for all the children in the district. I feel that funding the community school at 88 percent is the right choice."

Last year, the school board approved a 3 percent funding increase for the Community School after the end-of-year study showed that the school district was holding more money from the Community School than it was able to account for spending on it that school year.

The school district was previously holding 15 percent of the funding, or $90,000, which changed to 12 percent last year with the end-of-year approval, retaining $45,000, said Community School Principal Vanessa Gray. The Community School was hoping to have the district retain just 10 percent of the funding for the upcoming school year, which would give it about $30,000 more per year from the district, but board members argued that decreasing class sizes across the district is a greater priority right now.

"I can say to each and every one of you that are here, that all of the kids are ours and all of us are in this together to get funding," board Chairwoman Kate Grandusky said during Monday's meeting. "And so I would ask each and every one of you that have written emails and shown up here, we need you. We need you to really advocate for more funding next year when the biennium comes, because as you can see, we don't have enough money for the charter school, we don't have enough money for all of the classes in the regular district, and we are struggling."

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story misquoted Valyrie Ingram saying, "And my goal right now," which has been corrected to, "In my role right now."

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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