School districts look to furlough days to save money

District officials from Springfield Public Schools said they rely heavily on state funding, so they’ve had to make some cuts due to the state’s expected shortfall.

Posted: May 18, 2020 7:11 PM
Updated: Sep 1, 2020 1:42 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Some school districts are considering furlough days as a means of saving money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This comes after Gov. Kate Brown ordered an 8.5% percent budget cut across all state agencies due to the pandemic.

District officials with Springfield Public Schools said they rely heavily on state funding, so they’ve had to make some cuts due to the state’s expected budget shortfall.

Monday night the Springfield school board approved once-a-week furlough days through July 21. The furlough days will start this Friday and continue through the summer. 

“For Springfield Public Schools, that is the equivalent to $11.7 million that we would need to reduce our budget,” said Superintendent Todd Hamilton.

RELATED: LEBANON DISTRICT ANNOUNCES PARTIAL FURLOUGH, THREE-DAY SCHOOL WEEK

Anne Goff, president of the Springfield Education Association, said she supports the furlough days because it’s better to save money now instead of next year.

“Compared to the disruption for next year when we’re back in class with kids all day long, it’s a positive trade-off for students,” said Goff.

MORE: ALBANY SCHOOL DISTRICT OKS FURLOUGH DAYS

The Lebanon School District made a similar decision, as they approved furlough days at the May 14 school board meeting.

In a letter to the district, superintendent Bo Yates said they would have furlough days every Thursday and Friday until the end of the year, which is also June 11.

The letter also states that this is considered a partial furlough, so teachers are eligible for the Work Share Oregon program, or unemployment. It also said teachers are eligible for the federal CARES Act.

Goff said Springfield teachers will be eligible as well.

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