Frequently Asked Questions 2020-21 Budget

  • Decrease Text Size
  • Increase Text Size

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding 2020-21 School Year Budget


1. Why is OSD planning for a reduction in staff and programs?
As of mid-May we project that OSD must reduce our expenditure plan to address a projected $4.3 million deficit in the 2020-21 school year. Considering that approximately 84 cents of every dollar we spend is for staff salaries and benefits, the district cannot absorb significant reductions without reducing the number of staff that we deploy. We anticipate that the staffing reduction will include central office reductions as well as school staff reductions.

2. Can’t you cut spending somewhere other than staff?
We will first look at reducing Materials, Supplies and Operating Costs (MSOC) beginning in spring 2020 through the 2020-21 school year, not filling positions vacated by attrition, implementing travel restrictions, reviewing district costs for outside vendors/contracts, and more.

However, as mentioned above, approximately 84 percent of OSD’s budget is the workforce. The only way to significantly address the deficit is to reduce the number of staff.

3. Will the district implement a formal Reduction in Force process for certificated staff?
No, the district will reduce the teacher workforce through attrition only. Attrition is defined as the gradual reduction of a workforce by employees leaving (e.g. resignation, retirements, etc.) and not being replaced, rather than through layoffs. The district will not pursue a Reduction in Force for certificated staff.

4. When will OEA staff be notified about their position for the 2020-21 school year?
Notification will follow the typical process. In late spring all current staff with a continuing contract will receive a contract for the upcoming school year. Please note, staffing assignments may not be finalized for several months as we consider the actual resignations/retirements, open positions that must be filled, and open positions that must be reduced toward the budget reduction plan. (Non-certificated/classified staff, please see number 7.)

5. How will staff be placed in another building if that is necessary?
OSD will follow the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) and will work with our labor leaders around any transfers. Staff will be offered positions by seniority and will be offered positions based on their endorsed area. If multiple positions are available, staff members may be able to choose assignments based on openings that match endorsement areas.

6. Will class sizes be larger because of the reductions?
Given our projected budget deficit, and need to reduce the total number of teaching positions through attrition, class sizes will be larger across the district.

7. How will classified support staff be impacted by reductions?
All schools and district departments will most likely be impacted by reductions. OSD will follow the associated Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) and will work with our labor leaders around potential reductions. While there is no specific deadline to notify classified support staff, we will work with union leaders to notify them in a timely manner.

8. When will the school board decide to implement reductions?
The administration will present a proposed reduction list in May, and the school board is scheduled to consider the budget proposal formally at its two meetings in June.

9. Will job shares be allowed next year?
Job share assignments that meet the provisions of the contract (e.g. medical leave) will be approved; all other job shares will be reviewed.

10. Do classified staff have a seniority list?
Yes, all classified units have seniority lists that have been provided to the union. If you would like a copy of the list please contact your union representative or the Human Resources Department.

11. How is COVID-19 and Gov. Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order impacting the financial outlook for next year?
School has now been closed for about 30 days, and we are monitoring this question closely but need more data in order to quantify the impact. The district is saving some resources (fuel for buses, for example), but also experiencing some increased costs and some revenue has diminished. Also, the federal government has recently enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This legislation will give districts flexibility in the use and carry over of federal grants; which will be helpful to the financial outlook for the 2020-21 school year. We will continue to monitor the many changes associated with school closure and quantify the impact as soon as possible.