Bend-La Pine Schools wait on lawmakers' word

Legislators still deciding how much goes to schools

Bend La Pine Schools hopeful for increased budget

BEND, Ore. - The Bend-La Pine School District is expected to approve a $133 million dollar budget at its board meeting Tuesday night.

In the meantime, the school district is still waiting to see how much money it'll get from the state.

The district's budget at this point is about $5 million more than last year.

Officials hope to use the extra money to add two days back to the school year that were previously cut, bring more technology into classrooms and add about 20 new teachers for current and expected growth.    

Oregon lawmakers were expected to approve the state's education budget on Tuesday as well, but have pushed any announcements back until next Monday.

Superintendent Ron Wilkinson said school officials are following the news from Salem closely, but are hopeful for good news.

"It is definitely a better feeling to be talking about where we can strategically add back dollars and plan to continue to improve education, rather than where do we cut and hope for the best," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said the district wrote next year's budget based on early projections for funding from  the state, and schools officials are confident they'll be getting enough for their budget to hold.

The state may also be providing a couple extra million dollars to the district, which would allow the schools to hire up to 25 additional teachers to reduce class sizes.

If state funding is less than expected, Wilkinson said the district will have to make some adjustments to the budget.

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