Oregon schools again face budget pinch

Oregon schools again face budget pinch

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by Mike Benner, KGW staff

kgw.com

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 19 at 11:13 AM

PORTLAND -- School budgets continue to shrink through the Portland area and several suburban school districts were holding hearings this week on cuts.

The third of four budget cut hearings was Tuesday evening at Milwaukie High School and parents, some for the first time, heard that trims were necessary even though the budget has previously been slashed.

Superintendent Tim Mills said the North Clackamas District faces a $10 million revenue drop, which  depending on how state funding pans out, could rise to $23 million.

The latter figure could result in as many as 170 workers being laid off.

"The reduction of staff that were looking at, and the huge class sizes were looking at," Mills said, "it makes it difficult to deliver the type of service our kids deserve."

The Lake Oswego School District faces a deficit of $5 to $8 million, even getting the city council involved.

"I'm hopeful that the city, and others in the community, can rally to find some other sources of revenue," said Lake Oswego school activist Mark DeWitt.

David Douglas School District Superintendent Don Grotting sent out a letter to all district employees about a potential $12 million deficit that could lead to 100 layoffs.

"For the most part, schools are funded by revenues from state income taxes," Grotting said, "so as Oregon's economy goes, as do (the) school districts."

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