Scappoose School District approves $32.6M budget
The Scappoose School District board of directors voted 5 to 2 to approve the $32.6 million 2019-20 fiscal year budget at a meeting Monday, June 10.
While approval does not reduce any staffing levels in the district through layoffs, the district is cutting back on expenses by not filling positions lost through attrition.
The two dissenting votes came from Lisa Maloney and Tim Brooks.
A previously prepared budget statement from the district indicates Scappoose is planning to protect class sizes and school programs that align with the district's strategic plan by using some reserve funds, and reductions in staffing levels through attrition, "meaning that these reductions are not projected to result in layoffs of any employees," the statement explains.
During a budget public hearing Monday, however, several school staff members and parents spoke about the proposed budget and cited concerns about the district not rehiring for those positions.
Josie Bradley, a registrar at the high school, was concerned about how the J-term elective program will continue after a staff member who was previously assigned to the role of Teacher on Special Assignment, or TOSA, to assist with the program has been reassigned.
"If you think we have managed to work out next year's budget without losing any program, that philosophy is incorrect," Bradley said.
Additionally, in the 2019-20 school year, Grant Watts and Otto Petersen elementary schools will share a librarian. The current Grant Watts librarian is retiring this year. As a cost-saving measure, the schools' principals proposed sharing a full-time em-
ployee, which was built into the budget.
Carol Moore, the retiring librarian, spoke during the public hearing about her concerns Monday.
"I also worry that once you take it away, you'll never give it back because that's just the way of the world," Moore said. "I know you're not getting rid of it, but when you cut it by 0.5 there's just no way for it to be what it's been historically for our school district."
Before the board voted to adopt the budget, a contentious discussion began between board members regarding the approval of a temporary superintendent consulting contract for Paul Peterson. His salary is expected to be $24,000 for two months of work, but the contract is expected to cost $36,000 including benefits. More information about the contract discussions can be found on page A3.
A brief summary of changes to the budget since the last budget committee meeting in May were included in the board packet prior to the meeting. Those changes included additional revenue of $190,000 from the state school fund after the Legislature approved a $9 billion budget, instead of an $8.87 billion budget, and an additional $70,000 in service credits from the Northwest Regional Education Service District.
Additional expenses added to the budget include the consulting contract with Peterson, charter school payments, purchasing of curriculum, increasing staffing reserves, and increasing the general reserves to adhere to the board policy of requiring 5% of the budget to be held in reserves.
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