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District plans forums on budget priorities

North Clackamas Schools will hold five community meetings on the district’s budget challenges in the 2013-14 school year.

Meeting attendees will learn about the projected $6 million shortfall facing the school district, and have the chance to offer input on their priorities for cuts and added revenue.

“After five years of budget challenges, we have few options left to close our forecasted $6 million funding gap. None of these choices is ideal,” said Superintendent Matt Utterback. “However, I hold out hope that the Legislature will soon take actions that allow us to begin reducing class sizes.”

Staff and community members will consider 12 options that include both revenue-raising strategies and spending cuts. An online budget exercise will also be posted on the district website in January.

Options include athletic/activities reductions; closing/consolidating schools/programs; eliminating Outdoor School; eliminating outgoing transfers; increasing facility fees; open enrollment; professional development cuts; reducing school days (subject to bargaining); eliminating textbook purchases; reduction in force; selling property; and student fee increases.

Free childcare and Spanish/Russian/Vietnamese interpretation are available at all meetings.

Meetings are planned from Jan. 9 to 23 across the district.

The meetings are:

n Jan. 9, Milwaukie High School, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

n Jan. 10, Clackamas High (west campus), 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

n Jan. 14, Rex Putnam High, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

n Jan. 22, Happy Valley Middle, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

n Jan. 23, Alder Creek Middle, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.