Budget Reduction Increased to Approximately $10 million for 2024-25

Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 4/30/2024 4:15:00 PM

Dear WLWV Community,

The West Linn-Wilsonville School District continues to prepare the 2024-25 school year budget.  

Budget Reduction Increased to Approximately $10 million for 2024-25

In March, we shared with the WLWV community that the district would need to make approximately $4 million in reductions for the 2024-25 school year and another reduction the following year. Like other Oregon school districts, West Linn-Wilsonville has experienced the depletion of pandemic-related reserve funds, as well as inadequate state school funding lower than actual workforce costs and inflation. Unfortunately, reductions are needed to balance the budget.

As projected revenue becomes more clear, it has become evident that the district will need to make approximately $10 million in reductions in 2024-25. This is approximately 6.5% of the district’s general fund expenditures budget. Based on the 2025-27 state funding biennium allocation, another reduction the following year(s) may or may not be needed. 

What led to the increased reduction from $4 million to $10 million for 2024-25?

In the last month, we have received new information.

  • Costs associated with insurance rates, supplies & materials, and utilities are coming in higher than projected. Some as high as 15% more than last year.
  • State and Federal grant estimates are just now coming in. Each estimate has been lower than we have received in the past and projected for next year. For example, our overall federal Title grants were reduced by 41% based on census poverty data. Similarly, our state Student Investment Account Grant (our largest grant) is coming in less than we projected for next year.
  • The district’s new substitute teacher vendor contract was not factored correctly in March; the correction revealed increased payroll costs of about $3 million. 

Where will the district make the reductions?

The district considers key investments and feedback from both the licensed and classified associations as well as the community.  The 2024-25 Budget Survey (1,000+ responses which includes staff, parents and community) data shows strong support for existing district programs (co-curricular activities, music, arts, world & dual language, preschool, STEM), curriculum for teachers, and mental health support. Hiring quality staff and maintaining effective class sizes remain the top two priorities identified in the survey and for the school district. 

1. Districtwide Department and School Operational Budget Reductions, Approximately $4.5 Million

Reductions include supplies, services, vendor contracts, rentals, utilities conservation, printers, etc. Note: remaining intact for next year will be board-approved curriculum renewal materials for Literacy and Math, as well as arts, music, athletics, and co-curricular programs.

2. District administrative and school/student support personnel (non-classroom positions) Reductions, Approximately $4 Million

Reductions include District Office administration, districtwide classified support staff, licensed support staff and TOSA positions, and reducing WKOA (online program) to service Grades 9-12 only. These personnel will be transferred to other vacant positions in the district or reduced due to natural attrition (retirement, resignation, temporary contracts). 

3. Twelve (12) Primary Classroom Teacher Reductions (due to decreased enrollment since 2020), Approximately $1.5 Million

Average primary class sizes will return to pre-pandemic ranges.

  • Pre-COVID
    2017-2018 Average Class Size = 23.7
    2018-2019 Average Class Size = 23.1
  • With COVID relief funds/reserve: 
    2019-2022 class size variability due to online, hybrid, return to in-person
    2022-2023 Average Class Size = 21.8
    2023-2024 Average Class Size = 21.6

  • With the 12 reductions: 
    2024-2025 Average Class Size = 23.3

Didn’t the Local Option Levy we just passed preserve teaching positions?

Yes, it does. Those 90 positions are still preserved. Positions funded through a local option levy, similar to positions funded through a federal or state grant, supplement the general budget allocation we receive each year from the state.  Unfortunately, the inadequate state school fund which makes up the general budget drives the need for the reductions. The Superintendent’s webinar on how public school budgets are funded describes these distinctions in more detail.

Are There Outstanding Factors that Could Continue to Impact 2024-25 Budgeting?

  • Student enrollment impacts budget revenues and expenditures. Declining enrollment could result in staffing changes. The district is actively monitoring this.  

  • The district is currently in contract negotiations with the West Linn-Wilsonville Education Association (WWEA) and Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA). The negotiation discussions in our district are highly professional and mutually respectful. Outcomes from these contract agreements may or may not create the need for additional reductions. 

What’s Next in the 2024-25 Budgeting Process?

Superintendent Ludwig will provide the 2024-25 Budget Message at the May 6 School Board meeting. The WLWV Budget Committee will hold its official Budget Meeting on May 20 to review the details of the proposed budget. Once the Budget Committee provides approval, it will go to the WLWV School Board for adoption at the June 10 meeting.

WLWV Commits to Healthy Financial Shape for Future

Making reductions in order to operate within a budget is challenging on many levels. However, these decisions are necessary to ensure long-term financial stability and academic success for our students. To review budget-related documents or recent updates, please visit the district website. Thank you for your feedback, your patience, and your grace as we continue forward with the 2024-25 budget process.


Kathy Ludwig, Superintendent