Budget Committee approves $1.2 billion budget

On Monday, May 20, the Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS) District Budget Committee approved a $1.2 billion budget for 2019-20. 

The budget is based on Governor Kate Brown’s recommended K-12 budget of $9 billion for the 2019-201 biennium — which does not include the $35 million allocated to SKPS through the Student Success Act, which isn’t expected to be allocated until 2020-2021. 

“We’ve seen and we’ve heard the need for improved mental health and behavioral resources in our schools, and this budget reflects that,” said Superintendent Christy Perry. “By growing our behavior cadre and building counseling supports in our schools, our students and staff will be able to focus more on learning and turning the dial on educational outcomes.”

The priorities for developing the budget were:

• Maintaining current service level, including our previous investments in behavioral learning.

• Investing in full-time equivalent (FTE) for enrollment growth, specifically addressing caseloads for special education.

• Converting limited-term positions of special education instructional assistants to permanent staff.

• Providing additional resources for transportation to adequately support boundary adjustments.

More than $2 million is included in the budget for staffing additions in behavior, counseling and social work. The budget also moves native language specialists and translators to 12-month employees to support programmatic work over the summer.

The 2018 voter-approved bond measure will take up $435 million of the budget as construction is already underway at McNary High, North Salem High and Gubser Elementary — construction will begin this summer at Judson Middle and Waldo Middle. 

The SKPS Board of Directors will vote on the budget adoption on Tuesday, June 11 at 6 p.m.