LOSD budget process will decide whether to begin spending $8.7 million of reserves next year

Next year's budget for the Lake Oswego School District anticipates higher expenditures than revenues, with a shortfall of $2.8 million. The gap is created primarily by rising expenditures in the face of losing one-time federal stimulus funds, as well as last year's $2 million contribution from the city of Lake Oswego.

However, the district has about $8.7 million in reserves that it has been saving by not spending one-time revenues in past years. This year, the budget committee will have to give direction for using those funds.

The shortfall comes despite the school district's closure of Uplands and Bryant Elementary schools this year. The two closures, plus last year's closure of Palisades Elementary School, were projected to save about $1.8 million this year and $2.1 million annually after that.

The school administration will present its budget message and suggestions on how to balance the budget at the first budget committee meeting on Wednesday, May 16 at 7 p.m.

The budget committee will meet twice: Wednesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30 at 7 p.m.. Then a public hearing will be held before the school board on Monday, June 4 at 6 p.m.. The school board is scheduled to adopt the budget at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 11.

River Grove portables won't be ready by fall

• Installing portables at River Grove Elementary before the start of the school year in the fall will be impossible, the school district administration reported at Monday night's school board meeting. District officials filed a conditional use permit application with the city planning department a few months ago, but planners have not yet deemed the application complete. Given the timeline for scheduling the proper meetings at the city, the school district won't have time to install the portables even if the application is approved without any hiccups. Instead, the district is planning to site a full-day kindergarten in a pod on the Bryant campus for River Grove children, as well as implementing other space-saving measures at River Grove, such a using a computer cart instead of a computer lab.

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