Public Testimony from Jim Schulz

Dr. Rose and Members of the board,

I am here tonight because of my belief in doing what is right. My name is Jim Schulz. I am not only a Westview parent; I am also the president of the Westview Band Parent Organization.  You saw me here last meeting.  You will certainly see me in future meetings.

I know that this budget process is very difficult and that you can get a lot of information quickly or at the last minute.  On Monday June 4th at 1:31 PM, John Burns, your budget committee chairman, sent you an email. In the text of the email he spelled out that the financial report listed the actual expenses as just over $309 M. When you add in some expense adjustments, it raises it a bit. Next year we have a budget of $302.5 million dollars. – In reality there is only an actual budget deficit of 11.7 million dollars.

He also proposed that by not implementing new programs, that add 50 new positions, at a savings of over 5 million dollars, and going back to the union to negotiate 5 more days, you’d have balanced the budget with no job or existing program cuts.

I know that seeing this information for the first time, just hours before the vote, didn’t give you much time to act or adjust your positions. You have had plenty of time since then to digest this new info.  Combine that with the huge public out-cry, and this should provide you with compelling reasons to change course on this budget.

Did you know when you voted, that the bumping process that will take place, will put music teachers with only elementary teaching experience in the middle school and High School band programs? This scenario is horrible for the teachers and the students. It is deadly to the programs.

Dr Rose, you have personally proven that you can run a district on 170 teaching days. While not ideal, if you can do that for Canby, you should be able to do that for us.  Nobody likes going back to the union every year to approve furlough days. We get that. It is unfortunately the right thing to do to keep our existing programs alive and healthy.

I must point out to you that John’s email and supporting documents have been provided not only to us, they are also in the hands of the press and the public. Your moves on how you act on this information are being watched very closely. You are effectively under a micro scope.  We can’t fault you for not acting when you didn’t have correct information. However, you have it now. If you don’t act appropriately, and change course on this budget, everyone will know. It is the right thing to do. Please I urge you, don’t just hear us, please listen to us. It’s not too late to fix this.

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