WLWV 2024-2025 Budget Calls For Modest Reductions

Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 3/21/2024 11:00:00 AM

Dear West Linn-Wilsonville School Community,

It is that time of year when school districts across Oregon propose their budgets for the next school year. As you are hearing in the news, a number of Oregon school districts have announced proposed budget reductions in order to maintain essential programs going forward.  West Linn-Wilsonville School District will be doing the same. This is due to several factors that impact K-12 school districts: continued labor cost increases, goods & services increases, utilities increases, unfunded recent legislative mandates and the discontinuation of federal pandemic relief grants.  While there are increases in state funds to school districts each year, the percentage increase is consistently less than the labor/market cost roll-up increases to operate the following year. 

2024-2025 Budget Outlook Includes Modest Reductions

During and since the pandemic, WLWV has experienced an enrollment decline of students, but has maintained, or in some places, increased staffing to support students impacted by the loss of in-person instruction, mental health trauma, and disconnection to community. These staffing decisions were justified and needed. But this level of spending is not sustainable in the long term given the budget allocations from the state based on enrollment.

By making modest reductions next year, 2024-2025, and again the year after in 2025-2026, the District anticipates avoiding drastic reductions later on. 

WLWV Reduction Plan Approximately $4 Million

The District plans to reduce resources, programs and staffing by approximately $4 million to the general fund budget next year. This is about 2.6% of our general fund expenditures. The details of these reductions are not yet finalized as the District is in the process of contract negotiations with both employee unions and those associated costs are undetermined at this time. However, all efforts to maintain class sizes on the lower end of our targeted range and maintain direct services to support students will be prioritized. 

Opportunity for Community Feedback

In April, the Superintendent will deliver a community message about the district budget and program areas that the district has prioritized in the past. The community will have the opportunity to provide input, feedback, and suggestions through an online survey about their priorities for the following school year given the need for reductions. 

In May, the Superintendent will deliver the Budget proposal for 2024-2025 school year to the Budget Committee. The Budget proposal will take into consideration feedback from the community and staff. The public is welcome to attend the May board meeting and provide public comment. 

In June, the School Board will vote on the proposed budget for the 2024-2025 school year. The public is welcome to attend the June Board meeting and provide public comment prior to the School Board vote. 

In Appreciation of our Community

The School District appreciates the strong support of our community to ensure quality of programs, staffing levels, and safe & welcoming school environments for our students.  The recently approved Local Option Levy currently funds more than 90 additional teachers/counselors/support staff, supplementing the state school fund. The Capital Bond of 2019 has provided funds to: build and remodel three facilities in response to current needs and future enrollment growth; purchase new and replacement technology; upgrade or implement safety components to school and district facilities. These positions and improvements greatly enhance our school district’s effectiveness and impact on students and we are enormously grateful for the generosity and support of our community.

Let Us Know

Feel free to contact your school office if you have any questions about the upcoming school year and be sure to take the online survey in April that accompanies the community budget message. 

Most sincerely,

Kathy Ludwig, Superintendent