|Steep decline in forecast means across-the-board cuts|
A declining June state revenue forecast, released late this morning, has left Oregon with a negative ending balance of $562.6 million for 2009-11 – and that means that all state government programs and services, including public schools, are facing across-the-board cuts.
Gov. Ted Kulongoski has ordered 9 percent reductions in state spending, with K-12’s share resulting in a 2009-11 biennial funding level of about $5.76 billion. K-12’s $237 million reduction, applied to the 2010-11 school year, would equate to approximately $341 per student for school districts, and $17 per student for ESDs. ODE School Finance Director Michael Wiltfong is expected to release district-by-district information in the next few days.
Across-the-board cuts are the only budget-balancing alternative available to the governor, unless a special legislative session is convened. The state has just $175 million in reserves for the remaining 13 months of the biennium, however, so options available to legislators in a special session would be limited. COSA is working to provide information about the impacts of this latest round of budget cuts to legislative leadership. As well, COSA is working with Oregon's Congressional delegation in support of federal legislation that would provide funding for education jobs.
Despite this forecast’s declining bottom line, which is largely attributable to final adjustments for 2009, there are some positive signs for 2010-11, according to State Economist Tom Pitiowsky and Senior Economist Josh Harwood. Employment numbers and tax collections for 2010 are up slightly. Eleven of Oregon’s 13 leading economic indicators are up for the first quarter of 2010. Lottery proceeds are up slightly. And the national economy is showing signs of recovery.
|This page was last updated on Thursday, July 29, 2010 .|