Grant High School Principal Carol Campbell yesterday told her staff to prepare for staffing cuts for next year, thanks to a state funding shortfall.
Here's the email Campbell sent to her staff at the Northeast Portland High School:
After school today, staff met in the library to get information about staffing. The cuts are significant across the district and Grant’s FTE is reduced by 9.27. This will be difficult and most likely there will be cuts in most departments. We will do our best to be fair and equitable and use data such as forecasting numbers, programming and the requirements to maintain the core program.
The SMT (how we will reduce) is due on April 3rd, which is the Monday after Spring Break.
Updated at noon with staffing numbers: Grant's staff directory lists 132 names but according to district budget documents from last year, the school's staffing equated to 89.93 full-time employees. That means the school is facing a staff cut of about 10 percent (it's unclear whether the staff includes people who are paid for with foundation grants outside the baseline district budget).
It's not a surprise that Grant and all PPS schools would be preparing for a budget cut for next year.
The Legislature is currently facing a $1.6 billion budget shortfall for the 2017-2019 period, and the majority of funding for K-12 education comes from Salem.
Lawmakers calculate the budget gap by comparing how much it would cost to provide the same services provided today two years from now.
The state's general fund—the amount it has available to spend on discretionary programs—will actually increase about 7 percent from 2015-17 to 2017-19. Unfortunately, costs will increase faster.
In the proposed budget the co-chairs of the Legislature's Ways & Means Committee, Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) and Rep. Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene) released in January, they projected a 3.6 percent deficit in the K-12 budget.
Since that budget document was released, the state's financial picture has improved slightly, reducing the projected overall shortfall from $1.8 billion to $1.6 billion.
That means that in the absence of new tax revenue, it's likely that Grant and schools across the state will have fewer staff next year than this year.
Neither Campbell nor PPS spokeswoman Courtney Westling was immediately available for comment.