“Given all those scenarios with cost of living and other inflationary drivers we feel that we need to cut about 1.1 million in future spending for the current year,” Superintendent Brian Shumate says.
That brings the district’s budget to a total of $132-million. It’s a small piece of a large pie, but the cuts have to come from somewhere. Dr. Shumate’s goal is that if anything, the impact will be felt least in the classroom.
“Class sizes at elementary schools, we’ll try to maintain as low as possible,” Dr. Shumate says, “our career pathways, technology for kids.”
Technology like Google Chromebooks which can be found in classrooms across the district. A district where enrollment, attendance, test scores and graduation rates are all on the rise.
Maintaining that momentum is what shaped this year’s budget.
“We’re going to do our best to preserve all the services to the classroom,” Shumate says, “and make peripheral cuts to get to that number.”
Currently, 7 positions are set to be eliminated. The hope however, is through attrition, 5 of those employees will still have jobs.
“Those folks should be able to land in jobs within our school district.”
Additional state funding could come through. If it does, Superintendent Shumate plans to put it in to savings.
“The actuaries are saying that PERS has a 22-billion dollar unfunded liability, so if we get more money this time we gotta continue putting money back into savings to pay the future bills.”
“We may be able to refund some of the services we just cut,” Shumate says, “but I doubt we’ll refund all of them.”
The next budget committee meeting will be held April 26th at 6 p.m. in the Medford School District boardroom. The public is invited to comment. The school board is expected to vote on the budget sometime in June.
Executive Producer Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News weeknights at 5 and 6. Originally from the Bay Area, Kristin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.
She came to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine. In 2017, her investigation on lead pipes in Medford’s water system was named Best News Series by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.
When Kristin is not sharing the news, she’s traveling, hunting down the best burrito, or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She’s also a Green Bay Packers shareholder; if you see her out and about she’d be happy to tell you the story of how a California girl became a cheesehead.