BEND, Ore. - An extra $5 million in the Bend-La Pine Schools' proposed budget could mean new possibilities for the year to come, officials said Wednesday.
District officials have proposed a budget of $138 million for the 2013-2014 school year. They hope to add two school days back into the schedule, and invest in technology in the classrooms.
"It's something on the horizon to look forward to, because like I said, it's nice to look at the graph and finally see it moving in the other direction," said district budget committee member Lynn Hobson, who has two high school-aged kids.
With the money, the district wants to bring back two days of class that were cut four years ago.
"Every day they're out, they start losing information and they start going backward," Hobson said. "So every time we can keep them in the classroom, they're getting more out of it."
The second item on the list is a five-year plan to move kids away from using textbooks. Third graders through high school seniors would use laptops or iPads in the classroom. It's something school officials say should have been in place three years ago.
"So now you're talking about kids not only bringing home a text book, but bringing home every piece of information on the web and integrating it with what they're learning in the classroom," Hobson said.
Depending on challenges with the public employees pension plan, the district hopes they'll get even more money, allowing them to hire more teachers, assistant principals, and have less students in each classroom.
The budget is in it's early stages, and approval will lie in the hands of lawmakers in Salem.
Budget committee members will continue to hash out a plan through May and June. They must have it completed by June 30th.