District Funds Second Year in a Row Without Furlough Days

By Sadie Seward, Reporter 

 

Oregon City School District started their 2016-17 school year without any furlough days. This is the second full year of school without them.

 

Furlough days are the result of balancing the budget by reducing the number of school days in a year. If there isn’t enough money for certain things, the school board, with the help of the Superintendent and administration, decides the best distribution of money. Often, the decision was to cut school days rather than staff or certain programs.

 

In 2007, the great recession took place. This is where the state was not taking in as much revenue as it had before, therefore the schools didn’t get as much money.

 

The School Board did everything from rearranging money to managing how the schools are built. One of their main decisions last year was whether we were going to have a full year of school or hire more elementary school counselors.

 

The schools in Oregon are mainly funded by the state.. The  numbers are based off how many students are in the district. If there are more graduates than there are incoming kindergarteners, two years in a row, then the district loses money the next year.

 

The past two years there has been extra money and the money has gone to have a full school years with no furlough days.

 

Even with extra money this year, the School Board Chair, Cameron Seward said, “We are still not back to where we were staffing and program wise that we were at before the great recession hit.”  Seward also said, “I am hoping next year we will be able to increase the number of elementary counselors.” This however, depends on many unpredictable factors.

 

The furlough days for students look different from their point of view, as in it is just a day off from school. This could have an impact on their school career. Junior Adam Marl said, “I know a lot of kids really enjoy it (furlough days), but ours is one of the shortest school years in the nation. I think it's sad that we don't have the funding. There's too much to learn, but not enough time.”

 

The outcomes of the cuts are positive and negative. Board member, Chris Storey said, “The district works hard to ensure a stable learning environment for our students. Avoiding budget cuts and sustaining current programs is one of our key objectives.”

 

Superintendent, Larry Didway, sees the budget cuts as greatly affecting the students and their education.  “Budget constraints reduce student learning time and the options available  to best meet their individual needs,” said Didway.