Governor Brown has released her proposed budget for the 2017-19 biennium. She has continued to communicate concern over a 1,7 billion revenue shortfall, which frankly had many education leaders quite worried about the K-12 budget for this next biennium. It indicates that the Governor considers this one of the most important priorities in her proposed budget. The document indicates $8.6 billion for early Childhood and K-12 education. What this really means for K-12 is 8.015 billion, as there is $141 million dedicated to Measure 98, 11 million to the work of Colt Gill around the issue of graduation, achievement gaps and drop-out. There is $39.7 dedicated to Oregon Promise as well. I will remind you that the 2015-17 biennium was funded at $7.4 billion. However COSA and OSBA has calculated a need for $8.4 billion in order to adequate fund current service level as well as increased PERS costs.
That said, I do feel we are beginning the process at a reasonable place. In the past three biennia, the governor’s proposed budget was approximately $400-$500 million less than the actual budget that was passed by the legislature. If we continue to follow pattern, I have optimism that we could at least get close to an appropriate level of funding to appropriately support K-12 education. Gwen and I have already begun to discuss what this proposed funding level will mean for Newberg. Once we feel confident in our initial projections, we will share them with you.
I also got the opportunity to attend the annual law conference on Thursday with a few of our assistant principals. We got to hear from attorneys on the challenges of social media, as well as state required policies addressing use of social media by students and staff. We also learned about special education legal trends, bullying and harassment and employment issues. The conference always provides great reminders and new information from the legal realm that impacts education. I was glad to see some of our lesser-experienced administrative team there learning.