February 2019 Principal Chat... REVEALED: The Budget Bleeding Continues

Thought last month’s budget doomsday chat was no fun?  Here’s round two!

BSD Budget = Brink of Armageddon

Since our last principal chat, the projected shortfall for 2019-20 has ballooned to $35 million.  So no, parents, you are not allowed to stick your head in the sand for this one. ALL SCHOOLS will feel the pain next year.  The only question is-- how bad will it hurt?

Let’s take a look at some specifics and possible outcomes so we can all prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario:

Ballooning Deficit

Why is this shortfall getting bigger? Well, the state legislature work sessions and Beaverton School District calendars don’t quite line up.  The state won’t have their budget finalized until the summer, while Beaverton School District needs its budget completed by April.

So…. that means BSD is making its best guess on what the state contribution will be and they are erroring on this side of total epic chaos.

Class Size Increase

Bonny Slope already has some of the highest average classrooms in the district, but those could climb higher. The district has predicted 20 more students at BSE next year, but the true test will be how those numbers will be applied to each grade.

Parents should prepare themselves for the real possibility that our grades may go over 30 students per classroom. We’ve lived through that before and while not optimal, our teachers, staff, and parents have always battened down the hatches and made it work. Because that’s what educational heroes do.

However, class numbers will not be available until after contract negotiations are finalized and the state releases their budget. So… could be late summer before the picture clears.

Lose of Vice Principals

Yes, all elementary schools may lose their vice principals next year.  While a total and complete shame, Janet has previously handled being the lone administrator at Bonny Slope.

Loss of PYP

Yes, all PYP programs may get the ax.  That would eliminate both the PYP coordinator (.5 employee) and the Spanish teacher (1.0 employee), plus the additional PYP trainings needed for our teachers. Janet and all the other PYP principals have pleaded their case to the budget committee, but time will tell how the chips fall.

Is all lost? Well, not necessarily.  Other schools across the country have managed to make it work, even through these types of cuts, but it will be different and most likely, difficult, to retain our IB certification.

BSD’s STEAM programs (like Bethany Elementary) and expeditionary learning programs (like Springville) are also on the chopping block.

Change in Calendar

Nothing is off limits-- change of start date and/or end date, loss of conferences, loss of early release… We just don’t know and we won’t know for awhile.

Other Juicy Tidbits:

  • The new middle school boundaries are still up in the air.  No one, not even Janet, knows how those will shake out.

  • International Home Language Day was a huge success thanks to Jen Oordt, our PYP coordinator, and the team of dedicated parents from our Cultural Awareness Committee.  Various items and rooms are labeled throughout the building in 12 languages so check it out! International speakers and community members visited the classrooms to make it a truly inspired day.

  • March 2 is Dr. Seuss Read Across America and of course, our former secretary, Laurie Bishop, will be back to speed read Green Eggs & Ham.  And this time, it’ll be read in Spanish as well.  Side note: this already happened and while Ms. Bishop didn’t break her record, it was still a hoot.

  • Staff Appreciation boosted morale with their February smoothie deliveries.  Jamba!

And that’s a wrap!  See on you Friday, 3/22 at 2pm for the next exciting Principal Chat.