In recent weeks, I have been spending a lot of time thinking and talking about our budget for the coming year while making presentations to our Board of Directors and Budget Committee.
I believe our budget tells a powerful story of our values and priorities. As I dove into the details of the budget, my goal was to highlight the story behind the numbers.
Overwhelmingly, we invest most of our funding on one thing — our staff. 85 percent of our budget goes to salaries, benefits and related costs.
Or the way I like to think of it: 85 percent of our funding goes to people.
Other funding areas are important, to be sure. We need to fund technology, transportation, utilities and much more. But ultimately our financial priorities are aligned with our educational priorities — and focused on people.
We know that nothing can impact the lives of our students like the connections they make with our staff.
As we close out this year, we will be saying goodbye to many staff members who changed the lives of our students for the better.
To our retirees: I want you know that your work mattered. We will miss you and your contributions to our schools and students. We are stronger today because of your many years of service. Thank you!
Looking ahead to the coming year, we will welcome many new faces who will bring new ideas and points of view. We will learn and grow together as we strive to make Bend-La Pine Schools the best it can be. And always, we will be guided in those efforts by our priority on people.
To all of our staff members, thank you for your service during this tremendous year. I appreciate all that you do to serve our students and schools. It is my pleasure and deep honor to work alongside you all.
Shay Mikalson, Superintendent