The Eugene School District’s budget for the upcoming academic year features zero cuts. Even more funds could be added thanks to a likely increase in Oregon’s State School Funding level.
This will be Eugene 4J’s first full school year since 2009, thanks to the new budget. In years past the school district has had to drop days to mitigate cuts from programs and staff. The budget maintains music and PE classes, increases counseling services in elementary schools and adds a Chinese immersion program to the Churchill area. School Board Chair Mary Walston says the most significant achievement is the halt on increasing class sizes.
"I think being able to target class sizes and keep class sizes down is the most important thing," says Walston. "When we did our strategic plan last year that was the one thing we heard consistently and many many times over was 'class size, class size.' And yes, class sizes are very big and we're working strategically to get those down. We didn't get here in a day and we can't undo it in a day."
The budget was based on the $7.8 billion State School Funding level, which is likely to increase - pending Governor Brown’s signature. Should more funds become available, 4J will continue tackling the issue of class size.