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Bend-La Pine Schools' Budget

2023-24 Budget Message

April 11, 2023

Budget Committee Members, Bend-La Pine Schools’ Staff, Students, Families, and Community Members:

As we start the budget process for the 2023-24 school year, it is vital that we reflect on whether we have delivered upon the commitments we’ve made as good stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars.

We have historically built our budget on the promise that each Bend-La Pine Schools’ student is known by name, strength and need, and graduates ready for college, career, community engagement and life. To this end, the Bend-La Pine Schools’ Board of Education established goals that serve as the focal point of improvement of our schools and our overall system. These goals are as follows:

  1. Students develop a strong academic foundation;
  2. Students have a passion, purpose, and plan for their future;
  3. Students, families, and staff experience inclusion and belonging;
  4. Operational systems align and support an academically effective and sustainable organization.

Whether we are using taxpayer dollars to add staffing, provide updated curricular materials, or maintain, improve and add to our facilities, we take our responsibility of stewardship and community engagement very seriously at Bend-La Pine Schools. Deciding how to spend public dollars in service of these goals is done with intentionality and public input and feedback.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature committed an unprecedented amount of money through the Student Success Act to infuse almost $2 billion in additional funding into public schools. With a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask our community how to best use almost $13 million in additional funds annually, our district sought community feedback through our Excellence and Equity review. After analyzing the feedback and other relevant information, Bend-La Pine Schools pledged to invest in our classrooms through several commitments:

  • Supporting students’ social, emotional and mental health needs;
  • Expanding students’ access to a well-rounded education;
  • Reducing class sizes in our historically underserved communities;
  • Promoting student and staff safety.

The budget we are proposing specific to the Student Success Act for the 2023-24 school year will demonstrate a continued commitment to deliver upon our board goals and continue the support for students. Through a robust community engagement process, we gather tremendous feedback and input to ensure that these goals and commitments are aligned to the needs of our community. This engagement process ensures that we stay accountable to these commitments and how these additional dollars are allocated.

As a part of the integrated planning process required by the Oregon Department of Education, and to ensure we are meeting the needs and expectations of our community, we have engaged in deep dialogue with students and families across the district to see if we are delivering on the promises we hold for student success. Are we focusing on the right factors to have the greatest impact on student success? Are we fully realizing student potential? Are we producing graduates truly ready for college, career and civic engagement? Are our systems the most effective and efficient they can be to produce the outcomes our families and community want and expect for our students? These are questions we must continue to collectively address: staff, students, families and community members. This budget is designed in a way that refines and improves how we use the resources to provide the best learning environment for students in Bend-La Pine Schools.

Lastly, this proposed budget meets the requirements of Bend-La Pine Schools’ policy in Executive Limitation 10, Financial Planning and Administration. The policy requires proposing a budget with an ending fund balance equal to 5% of resources in the General Fund Operations budget.

We are truly grateful for your ongoing support of the Bend-La Pine Schools.

In partnership,

Dr. Steven Cook

Superintendent, Bend LaPine Schools

Strategic Investment Plan 2020-21:

Excellence & Equity Review: