Oregon’s school districts are fast approaching the deadline to submit plans on how to use new state funds from the Student Success Act, which allocates $2 billion to schools across Oregon for the next biennium.
Out of that, Springfield School District is expected to receive about $8 million for each of the next two school years. Bethel School District expects to receive between $4.3 million and $4.6 million per year, and Eugene School District is anticipating about $12 million per year.
District plans for the funds are due to the state in April and must be inclusive and used to support students who have historically been underserved by the education system. The state also requires the plans to be informed by public input from the communities.
Springfield has the next opportunities for community input out of the three districts.
Springfield Public Schools will hold focus group sessions Feb. 11 and Feb. 12.
The district gathered nearly 1,700 comments and 52,000 ratings through an online survey, and held in-person meetings, according to its website. Two priorities rose to the top, according to an announcement from the district: “increasing adults throughout the system/addressing class size concerns and supporting the health and safety of students.”
This next phase of public input for Springfield will have smaller focus groups “to refine those larger themes” into concrete recommendations for the district. “Individuals from underrepresented and historically underserved populations are specifically invited to join the two focus groups and share their thoughts on the planning process,” according to the announcement. The state considers students of color, students with disabilities and English as a second language learners to be some of these historically underserved populations.
Both focus groups next week will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday’s will be at Guy Lee Elementary, 755 Harlow Road. Wednesday’s will be at Riverbend Elementary, 320 N. 51st St.
4J has held eight community and staff forums for input and an open community survey, which closed last month. That survey garnered 672 responses, according to information presented to the school board Wednesday. Some key priorities identified in that survey included reducing class sizes, adding mental health supports and reducing time spent on standardized testing.
In February, the district will develop its plan for the funds. The next community feedback meetings are planned March 5 and March 12, according to the timeline online.
Bethel had a recent community input meeting in January and also held more than 10 other meetings with community members, staff and different student groups such as the Black Student Union and Latinos Unidos Club. The district is “close to sharing” an online survey to get still more input from the community, said spokesperson Pat McGillivray Wednesday.