|Superintendent's Update - April 1, 2011|
Dr. Michael E. Zalar
Stretching Your Tax Dollars…
Governor Kasich recently announced his proposed state budget - including school funding commitments - for the next two years. With the state facing an $8 billion deficit many difficult decisions needed to be made. Generally, the news was not good for schools and governmental entities. However, our district has been preparing for additional cuts in state funding and has made adjustments accordingly. As a result, we are well positioned to absorb the initial impact of the reduced funding while maintaining our current level of educational programming and services.The expedited phase out of the tangible personal property tax (see graph below) will establish a “new normal” for the district’s operating budget. Already, the Board of Education has reduced operating costs over $10 million during the past three years and another $2.4 million in cuts have already been approved for next year. The net result of these reductions will project the district to operate through FY2012 in the black. However, the reality of losing another $6.5 million of tax revenue means the problem is not solved and there is more work to be done.
I am extremely proud of our students, staff and community. We have worked together to “tighten our belts” and make many difficult decisions that affect our children. My belief is that through it all our schools have become leaner, stronger and more cost effective while still maintaining a high quality educational program.
In this era of diminishing resources we will continue to stretch your tax dollars in an effort to get the maximum educational value for every penny. While there will always be a difference of opinion on how this is accomplished, I hope we can all agree that a child’s education is critical to both the future success of the individual and the collective prosperity of the community. Thank you for your continued support of Oregon Schools!