Gain Share funds will shore up budgets
On June 6, the Washington County Board of Commissioners and the city of Hillsboro committed to giving local schools $10 million of their Gain Share funds from this upcoming biennium.As members of the Forest Grove School Board, we publicly thank Chairman Andy Duyck, Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey and their respective councils for the generous commitment.
Over the last few years we have reduced high school elective classes, cut 19 school days, eliminated 80 teaching positions, and closed Gales Creek Elementary School. In addition, we have a declining enrollment of approximately 300 students, which results in a loss of about $2 million of funding just this school year.The last three years have seen painful losses of revenue and services to our school district. Even with these losses, we are moving ahead with STEAM programs, new technology initiatives and innovative approaches to engage parents, teachers and children.
While we do not know exactly how much money will be directly sent to each of the Washington County school districts, if it is evenly divided, Forest Grove will be restoring teachers if money is received before the beginning of the school year in the fall. After years of cuts, this is a huge step toward showing that our county and cities are committed to reinvesting in our schools.
Again, we are so thankful that you recognize the needs of our schools now and in the future.
Alisa Hampton, John Hayes, Kate Grandusky, Charless Waterman, Lonnie Winkler
Forest Grove School Board
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