Budget Cuts To Fix Medford School District’s $15 Million Deficit Opposed

MEDFORD, Ore. — A shortfall of $15 million in the 2024/25 proposed budget presented by the Medford School District (MSD) Budget Committee is on the agenda for a meeting scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Ways are being sought to address the budget deficit with the Medford School District students who organized a walkout protesting MSD’s plans to let go of 18 teachers.

See also: Proposed Medford Schools District budget for 2024/25


Medford School District Staff Reduction

The 2024 to 2025 proposed biennium budget and deficit were discussed at the committee’s last public meeting on May 2 and MSD laid out a plan that included laying staff off based on position type. The reductions as a percentage of total staff are:

  • Classified Staff: 0.9%
  • Certified Staff (Teachers): 2.5%
  • Confidential/Manager/Supervisors: 5.9%
  • School-based administrators: 8.2%
  • District-level administrators: 12.1%


MSD had met with student organizers twice since the protests. The student’s concerns have been noted and Superintendent Bret Champion indicated that the students had brought to their attention the fact that every cut made by MSD affects students at the end of the day.

Champion said the focus of conversations was student concerns for safety and security and an elementary student craft fair. They talked with event organizers about how to work together going forward.


Solutions For Budget Deficit at Medford Schools Sought

While the MSD has made no changes to its plan since its meeting on May 2, teachers from the Medford Education Association (MEA) plan to work with the district to find alternative ways to address the budget deficit and save money. A tentative agreement was reached between the district in February on staff pay.

See also: Medford School District Makes Provisional Deal With MEA After Contract Negotiations

The MEA believes that significant cuts should be made at the district administration level before any of the cuts are made at the student level. Jessica Fitzsimmons, the association’s president highlighted that a 12.1% on the administrators level is only 1½ positions. She said, “The percentages look higher in administration, but they really aren’t.”

Unionized teachers and the MEA intend to present alternative solutions at the public meeting but Fitzsimmons said that teachers are concerned decisions have already been made. She thinks parents probably have a stronger voice than teachers do and encouraged parents to be in touch with the superintendent, school board, and budget committee. She says they should just speak up.

Champion for the district confirmed that the same plan would be presented, but they hope that in this meeting or the next one, the budget committee moves forward to the next step in the budget process by voting “yes.”

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