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    'Doing less with less': Salem-Keizer School Board approves tightened budget

    By Tracy Loew, Salem Statesman Journal,

    2024-06-12

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4PUyVC_0tpM39UP00

    The Salem-Keizer School Board has approved a tightened budget for the 2024-25 school year.

    The board voted Tuesday night to approve Superintendent Andrea Castañeda’s proposed spending plan with no changes.

    The plan allocates $646.5 million to the general fund, which is the district’s main operating account. That’s about $21.5 million, or 3.4%, more than the current school year’s budget.

    But it’s not enough to keep up with rising expenses, especially rising payroll costs, Castañeda said.

    The budget reflects about 379 positions that will be eliminated at the end of this school year. It also includes $60 million in contingency funds, which will be available to deal with unexpected expenses or to boost the following year’s budget.

    “Our students deserve the best conditions possible and this budget simply cannot do it all,” Castañeda said.  “This next year will require tireless creativity and relentless advocacy for the needs of Salem-Keizer students and for fair funding for students throughout Oregon.”

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2MlSmN_0tpM39UP00

    The district plans to spend $1.1 billion overall next school year, including on capital projects, grants and self-supporting services.

    Next year looks bleak, warned Tyler Scialo-Lakeberg, president of the Salem Keizer Education Association, which represents the district’s teachers.

    “Next year will be a year of doing less with less,” she told board members. “Our members will show up, they will work, they will do their jobs to the best of their ability, but they cannot and will not fill in the gaps for this reduction.

    “To our parents and families, your students, your children, will be receiving less services as we have less resources,” she said.

    The 2024-25 budget is available on the district’s website.

    Tracy Loew covers education at the Statesman Journal. Send comments, questions and tips: tloew@statesmanjournal.com or 503-399-6779. Follow her on Twitter at @Tracy_Loew

    This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: 'Doing less with less': Salem-Keizer School Board approves tightened budget

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